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Scratching the Surface: Understanding and Treating Eczema

By Ameen Kandathil


Highlights:

  • Eczema is a chronic skin condition

  • The exact cause of eczema is unknown

  • There are several ways to prevent eczema flare-ups.

  • There have been several developments in treating eczema

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation, redness, and itching. It can affect people of all ages, but it is mostly seen in children. There are several distinct types of eczema, including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis.

The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some people are more prone to developing eczema due to a family history of the condition. Environmental triggers, such as dry air, irritants, and allergens, can also play a role in the development of eczema.

There are several ways to prevent eczema flare-ups. One of the most effective ways is to identify and avoid triggers. This may involve using hypoallergenic products, avoiding harsh soaps and detergents, and keeping the skin moisturized. Wearing loose, breathable clothing and avoiding extreme temperatures can also help prevent eczema flare-ups.

In the past, eczema was treated with a combination of topical creams, oral medications, and phototherapy. However, new developments in the treatment of eczema have expanded the options available to patients. One of the most promising new treatments is the use of biologics. Biologics are proteins produced in the body and used to target specific immune cells or proteins involved in eczema development. Biologics have been shown to be effective in reducing the severity and frequency of eczema flare-ups in many patients.

Other new developments in the treatment of eczema include the use of probiotics, which are live microorganisms that can be taken orally or applied topically to the skin. Probiotics have been shown to improve the balance of bacteria in the gut, which may help to reduce the severity of eczema.

In conclusion, eczema is a chronic skin condition that can be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There are several ways to prevent eczema flare-ups, including identifying and avoiding triggers and keeping the skin moisturized. New developments in the treatment of eczema, such as the use of biologics and probiotics, have expanded the options available to patients and have shown promising results in reducing the severity and frequency of eczema flare-ups.

References

"Eczema." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 18 Jan. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eczema/symptoms-causes/syc-20353443.

"Eczema: Overview." National Eczema Association, www.nationaleczema.org/eczema/overview/.

"New Treatments for Eczema." National Eczema Association, www.nationaleczema.org/eczema/new-treatments-for-eczema/.

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