The symptoms of eczema which is also called atopic dermatitis are intense itching and a dry red scaly rash. Eczema may lead to blisters and oozing lesions. The skin becomes dry and itchy for a number of reasons which leave the skin without protection, making it easy for bacteria and viruses to penetrate.
Eczema generally has periods where it flares ups and then there can be times when there are no symptoms at all. Although it can sometimes look unpleasant, eczema is not contagious.
Eczema often occurs where there is a familial tendency to any of these conditions and people often have a personal or family history of other allergic conditions like asthma or hay fever. Although it can occur at any age it is most common in infants, completely clearing in half the cases by 18 months of age.
Symptoms of eczema occur repeatedly and the most common signs of eczema are
- Dry, extremely itchy skin
- Blisters with oozing and crusting
- Redness of the skin around the blisters
- Raw areas of the skin from scratching which may lead to bleeding
- Dry, leathery areas with more or less pigment than their normal skin tone
Eczema in children under 2 years old generally begins on the cheeks, elbows, or knees. In adults, it tends to be located on the inside surfaces of the knees and elbows.
Possible Contributing Factors
Allergy or Intolerance – For some people food allergies may bring on or worsen eczema. In others reactions to inhaled allergens such as dust mites, pollen, moulds and animal dander may also trigger the condition. If you feel you symptoms may be linked to a food allergy or Intolerance you may want to consider a food allergy blood test. An inhalant allergen blood test is also available or you can chose to have both tests done at once to get a more comprehensive screen. A test is the most comprehensive way to assess food Allergy or Intolerance but it may also be worth having a consultation as it may be that there are some obvious aggravating factors in your diet that once removed lead to symptoms clearing up. Food Allergy and Intolerance Testing.
Essential fatty acid deficiencies – Studies suggests that some people with eczema may be lacking in certain essential fatty acids because they are unable to properly metabolise them. Luckily these deficiencies can quite easily be corrected with the help of Smart Nutrition. You may want to consider having an essential fatty acid blood test to see whether this is a contributing factor in you condition. Fatty Acid Analysis.
Nutritional deficiencies – Deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals are known to be factors in the severity of eczema symptoms. NutrEval gives a comprehensive overview meaning your overall nutrient status and can be used to target key problem areas that may be exacerbating the condition. NutrEval – MOT Health Test.
Stress – Stress doesn’t actually cause eczema, but it can trigger a flare-up, or make the condition worse. Feelings like anger and frustration can also aggravate eczema. Since emotional stress can aggravate eczema, you may want to consider An Adrenal Stress Test to determine whether imbalances in stress hormones could be playing a role in your condition. Smart Nutrition can also write you a special diet, supplement and lifestyle protocol to help you to deal with your stress and reduce the amount and severity of your eczema flare-ups. Book a Consultation.
Leaky gut – Leaky gut syndrome is also known as intestinal permeability. A normal healthy gut lining allows certain molecules to pass across into the bloodstream such as vitamins, minerals and digested foods. It also acts as a barrier to prevent entry of larger damaging molecules. When there is damage to the intestinal lining it can open up slightly and this allows larger particles, such as undigested or partially digested foods and bacteria, to enter into the bloodstream. The immune system is not used to these particles and reacts to them which can greatly exacerbate eczema. A leaky gut test is a quick and easy way to find out whether this syndrome is a factor in your symptoms. Then, with the help of a nutritional therapist it is possible to heal the gut lining and get you back on the road to recovery. Leaky Gut Test.
Early weaning – Weaning babies too early onto foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs can cause damage to the immature gut. This can lead to the development of leaky gut and the possibility of allergies, both of which are implicated in eczema.