Many eczema sufferers consider stress to be the main reason for flare-ups of their condition. Lead study investigator and dermatologist Professor Robin Marks from St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne stated that ‘Of the 66 responses from participants who said that a life event had made their atopic eczema worse, 64 per cent cited increased stress as a reason.
Also ‘The weather, hormones, treatments, holidays and illness were other reasons voiced by participants for the deterioration of their skin disease.’
So, what is eczema?
Eczema is a non infectious, common, recurring skin condition. In eczema, the skin becomes red, dry, itchy or scaly. It can weep, bleed or crust over.
Eczema often appears in childhood and disappears at about 6 years of age. More than half of eczema sufferers show signs of the disease within the first 12 months of life and 90 per cent develop it before the age of 5.
A family history of eczema has been shown to play a role in a person developing eczema, however, its increasing prevalence may be triggered by exposure to environmental irritants and allergens, including housing materials, carpets, diet, soaps, detergents and pollution.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for eczema, but various treatments can offer affected people control of their symptoms better.
There are a variety of ways to control the condition from the daily use of pharmaceutical moisturisers to stress management and diet. It is important for sufferers to develop their own “Enzema Management” plan which will work on individual level.
Generally the following are recommendations to sufferers
- Avoid abrupt changes in temperature
- Wear soft, smooth materials next to your skin, preferably 100 per cent cotton
- Avoid contact with laundry detergents, perfumed soaps or wear protective gloves
- Limit your exposure to dust. For example, dust furniture with a damp cloth rather than a feather duster.
- When using a new cosmetic, try testing it first on a small, inconspicuous area of skin like your forearm.
- Some people with eczema find that emotional stress worsens their symptoms
For help with managing this condition contact Laser, Skin and Wellness clinic.
Holistic Counsellor can provide practical advice on skin care regime, nutrition, emotional balance and physical fitness/exercise.
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