The dictionary definition of eczema is specified as ‘an inflammatory condition of the skin identified by redness, itching and sometimes oozing vesicular lesions (blistered skin infection) which become scaly, crusted or hardened’. If you are reading this you probably know that ‘first hand’ as either you or a loved one is suffering from this condition.
The US National Eczema Association states “There is no cure for Eczema.”
The UK National Eczema Society states “There is no known cure for eczema – it is an individual condition that affects different people in different ways and what works for one person in managing their eczema, does not necessarily work for another.”
It is because of the fact that every individual needs a different solution that we try to give you access to many different treatments on this site – some of these will not suit you. Again, because some things will not work for you we have made arrangements with a few specialist Eczema book publishers to offer an unconditional refund guarantee, so that if you purchase one or more of these books you can ‘try out’ the suggested treatments and if they do not suit you, you can get a full refund.
Most other books and products we recommend are on Amazon and covered by their standard guarantee / returns policy.
Contributors to this site are not medical doctors, but ordinary people who have found mostly natural ways to greatly reduce their symptoms, we have done minimal editing of their text so you may find a few grammatical errors but that there will be good advice that should help many to reduce symptoms.
The remainder of this page is part of a free 20 part guide that you can get delivered free by email.
Eczema Treatment Guide
As you will discover as we undergo this guide, this condition has been around for thousands of years, however unfortunately, contemporary clinical science is no nearer to treating eczema than were our predecessors.
Like lots of skin problems, it is one of those things that is normally dealt with at ‘skin level’ (pardon the pun). In other words, medical practitioners usually prescribe topical (on skin) medications. This guide will recommend treatments that you can apply to your skin, but also focuses on a holistic ‘whole body’ approach to help reduce the worst symptoms of eczema.
We will recommend a number of topical natural eczema treatments but will also look at other things that you can use, including diet, lifestyle and alternative treatments.
Firstly lets consider exactly what eczema is, and who gets it.
What is eczema?
Like numerous other skin conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff, there is a large amount about eczema that the medical profession do not know the answers to.
Since eczema refers to a set of clinical characteristics rather than one certain condition, the meaning of the underlying causes of eczema has actually typically been unsystematic and haphazard (at best). Indeed, over the years many medical specialists have created their own definitions and names for the same condition. Eg Dyshidrotic Eczema is also known as Dyshidrotic Dermatitis and Pompholyx – these three terms can mean slightly different things to different doctors and some will attribute slightly different symptoms to whatever term they use, but essentially are the same condition. You can read more about the different types of eczema on this page.
Partially as a result of this confusion, it is a condition that often gets confused with Psoriasis. Nevertheless, the two conditions are not identical, the major difference between the two being that grownup eczema is commonly discovered on the flexor aspect of body joints (those body parts on the joint where the skin stretches and contracts while flexing – eg knees and hands) while psoriasis is usually not found in these particular locations.
It is generally agreed is that eczema is a kind of dermatitis. Dermatitis in turn is used as a ‘catch-all’ term for any swelling of the skin. The Dermis is the second layer of the skin, the top layer is the Epidermis.
Consequently, for lots of non-medical specialists, the two words eczema and dermatitis are nearly interchangeable, and (simply to confuse things a little further) you will likewise hear the condition referred to as eczematous dermatitis or dermatitis eczema.
If you are anything like me, all of this extra ‘useful’ information will most likely do much more to puzzle you than provide any clearer picture of exactly what eczema is and what it is not. In reality, because it is likely to affect you in a different way to most other eczema sufferers you just need to keep reading about other people’s symptoms and the treatments that you use. By doing that you will identify your specific symptoms and what might be the best treatment – for YOU.
Who gets eczema?
The answer is, any individual can suffer develop symptoms.
While it most typically begins in infants or children, it can be strike males and female of any age. The good news for many children is that in most cases the symptoms reduce considerably after childhood.
The condition appears in a different way from individual to individual; eczema is typically distinguished by dry, red patches on the skin that are incredibly scratchy. Unfortunately the natural tendency is to scratch any itch no matter how much you understand that you should not.
It is often called an ‘itch that cause rashes’ since usually, when someone scratches an itch, it generates a rash.
In children, eczema usually appears as dry red patches on the cheeks, forehead, scalp, neck, lower arms and legs. For most children, their symptoms will slowly decrease as they get older , to the extent hat many children who have suffered as a child will have no troubles whatsoever when they become grownups.
Children find it extremely difficult not to scratch, it is not unusual for children who suffer from this condition to break the skin, making them far more prone to infections and various other skin conditions eg warts.
Symptoms tend to ‘come and go’, where the sufferer might have many months with no itch or rash, then suddenly they have a ‘flare up’ that lasts for weeks or months.
Many things can cause flare ups, even in adults who have never been affected in the past. In other sections of this guide we look at the things that can cause flare ups and what you can do to minimize the chances of these occurring.
Being a chronic (long term) condition, there is no known cure but there are many different ways of treating it and making life much more comfortable for those that have it.
Types of Eczema
You can read our page about the different types of eczema.
Continue reading this guide on our Eczema Treatment page.