Eczema: “The Itch That Rashes”
You find yourself suffering from dry, red and extremely itchy patches of skin. You ask yourself, “Could this be eczema?” According to iTriage, eczema, also referred to as Atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition characterized by dry, itchy skin. Eczema is often dubbed “ the itch that rashes” as itchiness can be the first symptom of the flare. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 15 million people in the United States have some form of eczema.
But, did you know even some of the most desirable celebrities from around the world suffer from eczema? Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Grammy- award winner LeAnn Rimes are just two celebrities who suffer from this common skin condition.
According to Meghan O’Brien, MD, consulting dermatologist for Physicians Formula, “Eczema is very common in children. Many adults outgrow a more severe form and are left with scattered areas of involvement, hand involvement or less frequent flares.” While a large number of people suffer from eczema, the exact cause is still not completely understood. Dr. O’Brien notes, “In some cases a genetic mutation leads to loss of a protein in the outer later of the skin which makes those without the protein more susceptible to developing the skin condition.” Dr. O’Brien says that common triggers include irritation or compromise of the skin’s barrier function.
If you find yourself suffering from the itchy patches of skin described above, Dr. O’Brien advises that you consult your physician, who will be able to diagnose your condition based on a skin exam. Dr. O’Brien says that treatment of eczema usually involves implementing dry skin precautions, increasing emollient use, and using topical immunosuppressant creams as needed. “For severe and extensive disease, oral prescription medicals may be used, “says Dr. O’Brien.
Four Tips For Eczema Sufferers
1.Dry skin care precautions are key- Dr. O’Brien notes, “Eczema flares are most common in the cold winter months when dry air and dry heat lead to dry, irritated skin that puts one at risk for a flare.” Taking shorter showers with only lukewarm water can help your flare-ups.
2.Use a gentle bar soap- Anti-bacterial soaps and body washes are more drying. Only use your hands to apply the soap.
3.Moisturize the skin immediately after showering- This is the time when the skin needs the moisture most and when it will absorb the moisture more efficiently.
4.Sleep with a humidifier in your room.
Too Much Sun Can Ruin Your Fun
Sunburn is damage to the skin caused by too much exposure to UV radiation. A tan is visual proof of skin damage but sunburn represents damage at a cellular level. Sunburn can even cause painful first and second-degree burns. Be careful, too much sun can ruin your fun.
Excessive sun exposure leads to painful sunburn. . But, it is also possible to receive sunburn from artificial tanning beds. All exposure to ultraviolet light causes premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and possible loss of skin tissue or death due to skin cancer. With sunburn your body is responding to the over exposure to UV radiation by rushing increased blood flow to the capillary bed of the dermis. The extra blood in the capillaries causes the familiar redness, swelling and pain.
According to iTriage the symptoms of sunburn are skin redness, skin peeling, itching, painful skin and blisters. The symptoms of sunburn begin 6-48 hours after exposure. Repeated sunburns result in permanent damage and premature aging of the skin. Extreme sunburn can become sun poisoning, which is very serious and consists of fever, vomiting, fainting, near fainting and confusion.
The best treatment for sunburn is the prevention of sunburn.
How to prevent sunburn
1. Wear a hat and protective clothing when in the sun
2. Stay out of the sun during the rays strongest hours 10:00 am – 4:00pm.
3. Lather on the sunscreen. Make sure the SPF level is 30 or above. Reapply often.
4. Anticipate and prepare for the sun’s reflected rays off of water, sand or snow.
5. Protect your lips with lip balm and your eyes with quality UV eye protection.
6. If you are taking certain antibiotics (such as doxycycline) your skin might be extra sensitive to UV light. Take further precautions to protect yourself from sunburn.
Home Remedy Treatments
1. Try to cool your skin down. Take a cool shower or bath or place wet cold rags on your skin.
2. Apply moisture cream for comfort.
3. If blisters arise, apply dry bandages to help prevent infection.
4. Take ibuprofen or other over the counter medications to relieve pain.
5. Wear loose clothing so not to irritate the skin further.
6. Seek medical care if you feel faint or dizzy, have extreme thirst with little urine output, feel nauseous, run a fever or suffer severe painful blisters. Use iTirageHealth.com to help locate an urgent care or retail clinic near you.
Don’t let a sunburn ruin your fun. Take precautions, be smart and enjoy the sunshine.