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Eczema

 

This is a condition which causes your skin to become red and itchy. The most common type is called atopic eczema. People with this type of eczema are more likely to have asthma and hay fever too. Eczema is a skin problem that can come and go and it might also affect other people in your family.

Eczema is caused by inflammation. Unfortunately it cannot be cured, but there are lots of things you can do to control it. Often it goes by itself as you get older.  If you have a flare up, you can sometimes see little blisters on the skin which weep when the skin is scratched.

Eczema will usually occur in particular bits of skin like the skin on your elbows, behind your knees, and on your neck and face.

What can you do?

If you think you have eczema, come and see us or your GP. It is easy to confuse it with other things. We can give you creams and things to use in the shower to help make things better and soothe your skin.
If your eczema is severe, you might need a steroid cream. You will  need to use lots and lots of moisturiser and a little bit of steroid to try and make your skin less sore.

Tips for sufferers

  • Fight the dryness: Eczema gets worse when your skin is dry and strangely, too much water can do this especially after a shower as the water evaporates from your skin. So, pat your skin so you remove all the water. Don't scrub too hard. The same dryness happens when you sweat too much so taking a shower after exercising and drying is a good idea.Use a moisturising cream like Aqueous cream instead of soap.
  • Keep it cool: Warm showers rather than steaming hot are better.
  • Wear cotton: Scratchy fibres like wool will irritate but cotton is smooth.
  • Stop the scratching: This one is really difficult but the more you scratch, the worse the inflammation becomes and the easier it is for eczema to become infected. The creams we give you can help with this.
  • Smother yourself in moisturiser: This reduces irritation and keeps the skin from getting dry. Use as much as you can of the perfume free stuff that we can give you.
  • Avoid skin irritants: Soaps, detergents, perfumes can all make eczema worse.
  • Chill out: Stress can bring it on so try and be relaxed and happy.
  • Ditch the dust: Lots of people with eczema are allergic to dust, some are allergic to particular foods. We can help you with ways of avoiding triggers.
  • Use your medications: They really help if you use them right.

Related Questions

  • Age: 15
    Gender: Female

    Question:

    I suffer from really bad ingrown hairs on my legs a pubic area they leave really bad scars and just make my skin look ugly with lots of dark scars is they any way to solve this problem as its making me very self conscious

    Answer:

    Thank you for your question. From your description it sounds as if you may have folliculitis. This is an infection of the base of the hairs in the skin. It is a common problem that is not usually serious. Tiny pus-filled spots develop at the base of a hairs, often in groups and when they get better they can leave scars. Mild cases often resolve without treatment. Sometimes antibiotic creams or tablets are needed. In recurrent cases, antiseptic skin washes can be used. Do come into a CHYPS plus clinic or go to you GP for further advice.

  • Age: 25
    Gender: Female

    Question:

    I have very bad facial breakouts...I have not had sex in years, but I decided to shave myself down there...now I'm scared because I have horrible tiny spreading itchy bumps down there....Could shaving have given me a disease or just a pimple irritation?

    Answer:

    Thank you for your question. It is difficult to tell what the problem is without seeing you but it does sound as if you have two very common problems. The first is possibly some degree of facial acne and the second may be folliculitis in the area you have shaved. Folliculitis is an infection of the base of the hairs (hair follicle) and usually occurs after shaving body hair. It often clears up on its own but if it is causing problems it can be treated by washing with an antiseptic product, antibiotic creams or if very severe antibiotic tablets. I suggest you go to your GP to check this is the problem.

    Also see zone 2 on the CHYPS Plus website for more about skin problems.

    Thanks