What is Eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition which causes the skin to become dry, flaky, itchy, irritated and sore. Sometimes eczema may display itself in patches.There are different types of eczema, here are some: Contact Dermatitis, Seborrheic Dermatitis and Atopic Eczema.

Contact dermatitis is when the skin touches (in contact with) an irritating substance or allergen e.g. nickel, perfumes, hair dyes, rubber, lanolin, bleach, paint and fertilizers. 

Seborrheic Dermatitis is when the skin and other parts of the body are itchy and scaly due to parts of the body producing a lot of oily sebaceous glands. This most commonly appears in the scalp and face.

Atopic Eczema is the most common form of eczema which may occur due to allergies such as dust mites, pollen, latex, dairy, chocolate, nuts and fish. Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the skin, the most affected areas tend to be in joints, creases, behind the knees, ears, elbows, wrist and neck. This could be due to perspiration.

Eczema can vary from person to person including children. In mild forms the skin looks dry and flaky. But when someone has chronic severe eczema the skin is often cracked with liquid coming out of the skin. The skin can also become more irritated which can lead to a skin infection.

During my journey of having chronic severe eczema I found that I scratch my skin in order to relieve the discomfort I was in.  This may sound unusual but I found that even when I moisturised my skin with my prescribed emollients my skin would still feel dry and I would constantly scratch my skin for long periods of time.

How eczema affected my daily life and how it may affect yours

  • Getting up in the morning to do daily task
  • Working
  • People looking at you and moving away
  • Finding it difficult to sleep due to having to get up during the night to constantly moisturise my skin so many times
  • Finding ways to avoid people so I would not have to have conversations about my skin

Have you ever felt like that?

When the skin becomes dry, itchy or irritated this can lead to constant scratching which breaks the surface area and thickens the skin this is known as Lichenification. Scratching the area can also cause the skin to become hard and tight.

What causes Eczema?

For some they may have an overactive  immune system so when they are  exposed to substances from outside or inside, the body will respond through inflammation. Studies have also shown that the causes of eczema can be heredity. 

The root cause of eczema is unknown, but researchers believe that a combination of genes and a trigger have something to do with it.

Those who suffer with eczema know that it’s not contagious, however, some people who do not have eczema do not know this, and therefore, ostracize or alienate the person or people who have this. This may make them feel uncomfortable, dirty and not worthy to be in society, this is how I felt.

Finding out more about my journey with Eczema.

Find out more about 11 Triggers of Eczema.

Posted by Amanda Roberts on 16th June 2020 

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