What Causes Eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that causes patches of skin to be itchy and red. In some severe cases, the skin can also crack or start to bleed. There are a few factors that cause eczema, but overall, exposure to dry, cold air is the main cause. AFC Urgent Care North Bergen offers treatment for different illnesses and injuries. Visit us today to start living a healthier life.

Symptoms of Eczema

Cases of eczema vary from person to person, and there is no way to tell how symptoms will vary between cases. Some cases may only experience mild symptoms, while others experience more severe ones. Certain factors can also cause it to flare up throughout the year. Symptoms of eczema include:

  • Dry skin
  • Itching, which can be severe
  • Red or brownish-gray patches, especially on the wrists, ankles, hands, and scalp
  • Scaly skin that may leak fluid or crust

If the skin begins to look infected or is uncomfortable to the point you are losing sleep, you should seek medical attention. Many cases of eczema can be cleared up with time, but it can be managed with proper treatment.

Causes of Eczema

The most common cause of eczema is environmental factors. The skin needs moisture to be healthy, and during winter, the air is dry and cold. This causes the skin to be more dehydrated than average. Additionally, a low immune system and genetics also play significant factors. If your parents or grandparents have eczema, it is more likely for you to have it as well. Eczema is not contagious, however. You cannot catch it from another person through contact.

Treatment Options

Using a cream-based lotion is one of the best ways to lock moisture into your skin during the winter. In severe cases, your doctor may be able to prescribe an ointment that helps fight eczema more directly. Moisturizing twice a day can really help with dry skin, especially right after drying off from a bath or shower.

Use soaps and cleansers that are meant for sensitive skin. Harsh chemicals can have a damaging effect on the skin, especially when environmental conditions are already poor. Soap meant for sensitive skin is already more gentle and less drying than other options. Additionally, limit your showers to five to ten minutes everyday. Exposure to warm water can further dry the skin.

Reduce your exposure to what triggers flare-ups. If the cold weather is what triggers your eczema, wearing plenty of layers when outside that are made of soft fabric such as silk or cotton. In some cases, stress or lack of sleep can also have an impact on health conditions. Try and get at least 8 hours and learn proper ways to deal with stress.