Ashley hall has been seriously itching For more than 3 decades. She was only 2 years old when the first patch dried, Peeled skin The edges of his body emerged.

“My mother noticed that I was constantly scratching it. And it was not a normal Rash That children usually get… it just won’t go away. Nothing was working – no cream, no lotion. He tried everything. So, when he knew it was something serious, ”Hall, a 33-year-old from Livingston, NJ, says.

Hall’s mother took him to one Pediatrician. The doctor brushed it off as temporary Baby eczema And prescribed a cream. But it did not work. Soon the rash spread on his body. This time, a visit to the dermatologist’s office confirmed it atopic dermatitis (AD), an old form of eczema that exists Allergy symptoms, Which Hall would have for his life.

What is severe eczema

Eczema is a type of skin inflammation that causes red, itchy, painful rashes. It affects about 31 million Americans. But it affects each person differently.

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For most people with eczema, the symptoms are mild to moderate and may clear up on time. But for some, severe dryness, itching, And scratches can be so painful that it can cause bleeding to their skin, open sores, or become crusty and oozing. With severe eczema, long-lasting flares can occur at different times in different parts of your body. And this The skin Failure can affect your mental well-being and take a toll on your overall quality of life.

Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Zelma Chiasa Fusench, says she has several things to consider before diagnosing a person with severe eczema.

Chiesa Fuxench says that she asks herself such questions as: “What is the level of itching? What is the effect on lack of sleep? Is connected to Symptoms of depression or anxietyThe Is the patient able to work at work or at school? Are they going out and enjoying the things they are doing? “

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One study found that 1 in 2 participants with severe eczema reported that it affected their lifestyle. They abstained from social contact due to the presence of their skin and were less able to perform daily activities.

For Hall, as a teenager, “painful rashes” made her feel self-conscious.

“I always wore long sleeves, and I always wore pants. I would never wear dresses or skirts – very self-conscious about it, which again, really prevented me from enjoying life, ”says Hall.

How to manage eczema trigger

Absolutely right Cause eczema Unknown, but experts believe you are more likely to Immune system Weather is activated by a combination of genetic and environmental causes, such as irritants or allergies. Defective skin barrier may be the culprit. To get to the root of the problem, you may have to see specialists such as a dermatologist, Allergies, Or pediatrician if it starts at an early age.

Currently, there is no known cure for eczema. But there are things that you can do to reduce itching and maybe even discard things that may flare up at first. Medical treatment is also an option.

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Trigger to escape:

dry skin. If your skin loses too much moisture and becomes dry and flaky, it can cause eczema. This can happen especially in the winter months when the cool, dry air sucks the moisture out of your skin.

“I really emphasize the continued use of moisturizer on the skin; You want to do this at least once a day.

Irritability. If you come in contact with them, product ingredients or some natural things can dry and burn your skin. This may include:

  • Some metals like nickel.
  • Laundry detergent, chemical cleaner, and soap.
  • Some fabrics such as wool and polyester.
  • cigarette smoke.
  • Perfumes and Fragrances.
  • Dyes and Tattoo Inks.

Hall says salty sea water feels fine against his skin, but spending time in a pool is not just an option for him.

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“this [eczema] Chlorine does not agree with my skin, because the hall will flare up completely.

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Sweat and heat. Your sweat has traces of certain metals such as zinc, iron, nickel, and copper. This can irritate your eczema and spoil it in hot spots like the elbow and behind the knee, or neck, where sweat usually pools. Although it is impossible to avoid sweating altogether, if you do, try to rinse with fresh water and change into a clean dress.

food allergy. Common foods that can make your eczema symptoms worse are eggs, milk, and peanuts. About 20% to 40% of children with severe eczema usually have food allergies with it. If you feel that certain foods spoil your skin, talk to a doctor about it.

Asthma or hay fever. Experts know that for some, it is common for hay fever or asthma to coitus with atopic dermatitis or to stop it. Experts don’t know why. If you are allergic Pollen Or animal wandering, limit your risk. If you are unsure about what causes your allergy, talk to one. Allergies Expert for testing and diagnosis.

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Tension. If you feel stressed, your eczema can become worse. Experts don’t know exactly why.

Since her diagnosis, Hall says it is a journey of trial and error to manage the condition. “There was not much information on this in the 80s and 90s.” But now, in her 30s, she says she has a lot of control over her skin health.

“I know some of my triggers and sometimes I don’t because it’s a bit cluttered, but I don’t really go to the dermatologist or doctor… [be]Because I think I have found a place where I can manage it, ”says Hall.

Chiesa Fuxench says she tries to look at her patients’ skin care routine to see “what are some things they can do [at home] In the context of changing their habits to manage their situations. “

But if home remedies do not work and your Symptoms of eczema Not in control, try:

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Topical treatment. Your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter ointments or creams to apply directly to your skin, like corticosteroids. If your eczema is mild to moderate, your doctor may prescribe Crisborol (Eukris). It works by blocking the substances in your body that cause it. swelling.

You need to use these medicines, as your doctor asks you. Overuse can have side effects and make your skin thinner. In some cases, your doctor may give you a stronger cream Pimcrolimus ()Alidel) or Tacrolimus ()Defensive) To reduce swelling, itching, and the need to use steroids.

Oral prescription drugs. If severe eczema leaves you with open sores that may be the cause of the infection, your doctor may give you oral Antibiotic medicines To fight bacteria for a short time that can result from broken skin obstruction.

If the inflammation is high, you may have to take an oral corticosteroid like prednisone. It is a very strong medicine that cannot be taken for a long time. This can have serious side effects. Take it exactly as your doctor tells you.

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Phototherapy. If topical treatments do not work for you, your doctor may suggest phototherapy. Your skin is exposed to a controlled amount of natural sunlight for a certain time. You may also be exposed to other forms of light such as artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and narrow-band ultraviolet B (UVB). You can do this therapy with or without the use of drugs.

Phototherapy increases your chances skin cancer And your skin can age quickly. Ask your doctor if this is the right treatment for you.

If none of these treatments work for you, the FDA has approved a new drug called dupilumab for moderate to severe eczema (Duality) Belongs to. Your doctor will have to prescribe it. You take it as a shot that you can give yourself at home.

If itchy and crusted dry patches affect your sense of self-image or mental health, Talk to a doctor or counselor. If itching disrupts your sleep or becomes a habit, you can try relaxation techniques or behavior modification.

Break it-scratch cycle

There is a saying in the world of dysology, according to Chiasa Foxenck: “We say, ‘an itch that causes rashes.” “Basically, this means that the more you scratch your rash, the more it swells and comes back more aggressively, red. Swollen, and painful. It creates an” itching-scratching cycle ” Which is difficult to break.

In some severe cases, intense itching and scratches can irritate the nerve endings on your skin and make it thick and leathery. The affected area on your skin may be darker and may have different lines from scratches. It is a skin disorder called neurodermatitis. If the itching gets cured, your skin can heal and get better.

To relieve itching you can:

  • Moisturize as often as you can.
  • To strengthen the blockage of the skin, a type of fat commonly found on the skin, use cream with cream.
  • Use a skin cleanser with low pH.
  • Apply a cold compress.
  • Pinch and pat the part of the skin that itches.
  • to link Apple vinegar For your bath.
  • Soak in the bath with Baking soda Or oatmeal.
  • Avoid coming in contact with anything that may irritate naked skin. Do not sit on grass, plastic chairs or rough carpet or furniture. Wear soft, breathable clothing made of natural fibers next to your skin.
  • Use a wet wrap around itchy skin.
  • try Acupuncture.

If you are unable to control your itching and rash, develop skin infection This makes it difficult, or sleep, Talk to a dermatologist about it. They can direct you to treatments that may suit your needs.

Getting Your Skin Back On Track After A Jerk

At the end of the day, remedies and home remedies are not foolproof. According to Chiesa Fuxench, they may not work at all for your severe eczema or you may need more than one type of treatment at the same time.

But when it comes to handling eczema setbacks, Hall says it’s about knowing what you can do as much as you can control and prepare for it. “I would say that I cannot control the weather. But I know that if I am traveling, I will have my ‘eczema emergency kit’.”

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For Hall, when she stays in a hotel or with friends or family, she makes a point to pack “fragrance-free” products and even her own sheets to avoid flare-ups Also brings. But even though Hall abstains from most activities that may provoke his eczema, sometimes he finds himself blissful despite knowing the consequences.

“It’s a moment and it’s worth it, and you just have to go with it,” Hall says.

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“You really need to clearly establish a basic skin care regimen. Usually, I say that we are basic and simple because we really do not want to take patients away from treatment, ”says Chiasa Foxench.

Finally, if you live with lifelong eczema, Chiasa Foxench notes that it is important to purchase this idea, as with other chronic diseases. Diabetes or high blood pressure, You have to stay on top in your treatments.

“We need to think about how best to treat these patients in terms of a long-term approach,” says Chiesa Foxench. “The goal is to make [them] Happy and able to go about their day without thinking they have to go back and see a dermatologist again. “