National Eczema Week is set aside in September to raise awareness on the skin condition called Eczema, also known as dermatitis, the week enlightens us about the need to check on those who suffer from a severe form of eczema( Atopic Dermatitis) and knowing that it affects not only their skin but also their mental health and also to discuss the stigma attached to it.
- What is Eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that allows the skin to become dry, itchy, red, and especially bumpy on the hands, ankles, feet, wrists, neck, chest, elbows, knees, and in infants the face and scalp.
Fun Facts about Eczema…
Eczema is also known as Dermatitis.
- Dermatitis means the inflammation of the skin.
- A skin doctor is referred to as a dermatologist.
- Eczema can develop in different areas of the body depending on the age group(Child or Adult).
- Eczema is not contagious
- About20% of children and up to 3% of the adult population have Eczema.
- About31.6million Americans have symptoms of Eczema with 17.8million with symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
- Atopic Eczema is a severe type of Eczema and lasts the longest (symptoms often start in childhood).
- Having Eczema does not mean you’re dirty or infected.
- Researchers say that is it caused by the combinations of genes and environmental triggers.
What are the causes of Eczema?
There are a couple of things that have been associated as causes of Eczema, some of these include:
- Irritants or allergens (depending on your immune system).
- Family health history.
- Environment (can be weather, soap, fabrics, smoke, and air pollutants).
- Stress can also trigger or worsen your Eczema
- Females have been researched to have increased Eczema symptoms when there are changes in their hormone levels e.g during pregnancy or during their menstrual cycle.
- Changes in weather and perspiration can cause Eczema
Debunking common myths about Eczema
Myth: Eczema is a Disease for Poor and Dirty People.
Fact: Eczema is a skin disease that can affect anyone irrespective of class and how neat the person is.
Myth: Eczema is not a serious Skin Disease.
Fact: Eczema can have a huge impact on a child’s quality of life in terms of lack of sleep for the child and family; it is painful as well as itchy; there can be an embarrassment, teasing and bullying; a child may not be able to participate in normal activities such as sport.
Myth: Topical steroids are unsafe and should be used sparingly.
Fact: Not using steroids as required may lead to not calming the rash. They should be applied to all rashes adequately.
Myth: Someone with Eczema should not go swimming.
Fact: Eczema patients with clearer skin, can try swimming. Always moisturise before, don’t spend too much time in the water, get out and have a freshwater wash off, and moisturise again.
Myth: A family history of eczema means the baby will have it also.
Fact: Not all children from a family with a history of a family member with Eczema is likely to have the same symptoms