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Eczema: Getting The Symptoms Under Control

Living with eczema can be frustrating, having an emotional, social, and psychological effect on one’s self-esteem.  

Also referred to as Atopic Dermatitis, eczema is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. People who suffer from eczema usually experience intense itching or tingling of the skin that leads to a vicious circle of scratching and irritation known as the “itch-scratch cycle”. Left unmanaged, this constant scratching can cause weeping or bleeding lesions, leaving the skin susceptible to infection and scarring.

There are several forms of eczema, however atopic dermatitis is the most common and is often inherited through the family. Besides itching as the primary symptom, eczema can also cause the affected areas to become red (light skin) or darker brown, purplish, or ash gray (on darker skin types). Dry, scaly areas can develop into thick leathery patches of skin, and small rough bumps can sometimes weep fluid and crust over.  

According to the skin experts over at the Australian Skin Institute - ASI, a recent study showed that in Australia, 1 in 3 children and over 1 million Australians have eczema.f the participants who were part of the study group, almost half knew nothing, or very little, about eczema.  

So, what causes eczema?  

The exact cause is still unknown; however, research has identified possible triggers for eczema and links to other conditions such as asthma and allergies.  

People who suffer from eczema may be sensitive to mild irritants such as wool, synthetic fabrics, detergents and soaps like shampoo or washing powder. And, environmental allergens such as dust mites, mould, grass, plant pollens, and even pets can trigger eczema symptoms. Certain foods also act as eczema triggers so getting to know your triggers and avoiding those foods goes a long way in helping to manage eczema symptoms. For a complete list of eczema triggers, visit the Eczema Association Australia website.  

  If you suspect or know you have eczema, adopting a long-term management plan that helps to avoid triggers while soothing and supporting the skin through the physical symptoms is critical.  

While itching is an essential clue to diagnosing eczema (if an itch is not present, the chances are that you don’t have eczema), an accurate diagnosis requires a complete skin examination which a skin specialist or Dermatologist should perform.  

Supporting the skin with a soothing skincare ritual will help minimise flair-ups turning nasty by preventing your skin from drying and cracking and offering relief from the itching and inflammation caused by the condition.  

While topical corticosteroids, antihistamines, and antibiotics are sometimes needed if the symptoms get out of hand, these are not ideal for ongoing long-term eczema treatment.  

Eczema can disrupt and damage the skin’s acid mantle - the thin protective barrier on the surface of our skin. Ensuring you keep your skin clean, hydrated, and well moisturised (even if it means applying your cream a few times a day) will help to support the acid mantle.  

This is important because not only does this natural barricade preserve and maintain the skin’s structural and functional integrity, but its slight acidity also protects your body from bacterial invasion, minimising infection and skin breakouts.  

Are there any skin treatments that will help manage eczema?  

Recent studies on the effectiveness of visible blue light therapy using LED (light-emitting diodes) for the management of eczema symptoms have shown promising results. The study demonstrated that blue light induces an anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative effect on the skin that may be beneficial for hyperproliferative and chronic inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.  

Reduction in the severity of itching was one of the initial symptoms of improvement that occurred during the study trial, resulting in improved sleep quality and overall quality of life for the eczema sufferers.  

LED Light Therapy might sound like ‘space-age’ science but using the power of light to heal and strengthen the body dates back to ancient Egyptian and Greek times. You can read more about the development of LED Light Therapy and how it works in our blog: Lighting The Way To Healthy Looking Skin.  

Brazilian Beauty Is Here To Help You Manage Your Eczema Symptoms  

If LED Light Therapy sounds like a plan for your skin, then visit the skin experts at Brazilian Beauty. They’ll start with an in-depth skin analysis and consultation to determine your skin’s individual needs, then create a customised treatment plan.  

With nine conveniently located clinics across Brisbane, booking an appointment is easy. Simply clickhere or visit the Brazilian Beauty website to learn more about their extensive range of treatments, services, and skincare.