Believe it or not, medical scientists still don’t know what triggers this skin rash. They do know that it’s painful, extremely itchy, and affects a persons’ quality of life.
One hypothesis is it’s caused by an overactive response by the immune system to an irritant.
There may also be a genetic link as it tends to run in families who have a history of allergies and/or asthma. There’s not a clear connection between eczema and food allergies.
Most surprisingly, there appears to an association between eczema and heart disease. People with severe a severe rash have a 40 to 50 percent higher risk of unstable angina and cardiovascular death, as well as a 70 percent higher risk of developing heart failure. This, according to a study published last year in the British Medical Journal.
In addition, scientists also reported a 20 percent higher risk of stroke. They believe it could be due to inflammation and oral steroids that increase the risk for heart disease.
Moisturizers are currently the best available treatment for eczema. This kind of lotion will not only hydrate skin but also help strengthen its outer barrier to hold in moisture. The added moisture keeps out germs and bacteria.
A good lotion is one that contains jojoba oil. This oil acts as a natural skin conditioner and has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe irritated skin. You can apply it several times a day.
Another good treatment is taking a colloidal oatmeal bath. You can buy this product at drugstores or health food stores.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends adding this remedy to running lukewarm water, then soaking in it for 10 to 15 minutes. When drying off, make sure you leave enough water on your skin so that it feels damp, and apply moisturizer within three minutes of bathing.