Eczema and its symptoms touch the lives of 31.6 million Americans and on a global scale, about 20% of adults and 3% of children are affected by the condition. There are many triggers of eczema including environmental factors such as stress, irritants, microbes, allergens, and food. Itchy skin which is a primary symptom may lead to rashes and open sores. Eczema wounds, if not treated or managed, can cause infections due to the entry of viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Living with eczema: Knowing your triggers and treatment
There is no specific cause of eczema but it is believed that it is triggered by a combination of factors some of which can be controlled by the patient. Thus, it is important that you identify the triggers of your eczema so that you can avoid them in the case of food or limit exposure if allergens are involved. Moisturizing is also a key activity that you should do to keep the skin from becoming itchy. Taking prescription medication as prescribed by your practitioner helps in treating eczema and allergy symptoms. Scratching which is the main culprit in skin breakouts and wounds must be avoided as this will lead to further irritation.
Stay vigilant: Watch out for eczema wounds
If you are prone to scratching, you should watch out for signs of skin infections. These include pus-filled bumps, redness, and pain. Once you get open wounds with persistent eczema, treating it is imperative to avoid complications. Wound management is an important part of the treatment process. Dressing the wound is the first step to keep the area moist and to make it heal faster. It also prevents further infections that will decrease pain and discomfort. Wound dressing reduces scabs and minimizes scarring that can affect the appearance of the skin. However, if you have scars, there are several techniques that exist today including the application of steroid creams and use of a laser.
Debridement which is a term that refers to the removal of damaged or infected skin tissue may also be performed if you have extensive skin infections or persistent eczema. This is necessary to help the skin heal. A clinician must be able to assess whether you need the procedure to facilitate wound healing. Once wounds are healed, restoration of the skin’s barrier is vital and to achieve this, emollients must be applied to keep it soft and supple.
Even with the best intentions, flare-ups of eczema and allergies can happen. When they occur, it is important to avoid scratching and if wounds develop, to treat them immediately to avoid infections. You might also benefit from techniques developed in wound management such as debridement, coblation or hydrosurgery if you have chronic wounds in general.