Wikipedia says the following about eczema: ‘Eczema, or often referred to as atopic dermatitis is a form of dermatitis, or inflammation of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding.’

If you suffer from this condition, please know that I feel for you as we are in the same boat.

I was supposed to outgrow my eczema when I turned 2, then 4, then 10, then 20. Well, I’m 35 and I’ve made peace with the fact that I will suffer from this ailment for the rest of my life.

The biggest problem with dealing with this condition is the fact that everybody experiences it differently and what triggers my skin to flare up, may not affect yours. I am lucky that I’ve learnt how to control my eczema and that my flare ups are not that bad. I have seen people with eczema so bad that it affects their quality of living!

My bad genes were passed on to my little girl and she also suffers. Her eczema is caused by food allergies. This makes it much easier for me to control. I just need to keep her away from dairy and eggs. Easier said than done though! My eczema flares up when I’m stressed and my immune system is down. External factors like change of season, grass, sea water, etc. also aggravates my eczema.

Eczema can thus be caused by certain foods, irritants that come into contact with the skin (such as fabric softener), seasonal allergies, etc. It is sometimes not that easy to figure it out. The best thing to do is to go for allergy tests. If you can pin point what causes it, you can better manage the condition.

The easiest and quickest way to deal with eczema is a cortisone cream. Your GP or dermatologist can prescribe this for you. BUT… please be warned… you do not want to use this treatment long term. My skin has suffered tremendously because of years and years of cortisone use! My skin is thin and wrinkly, especially on my hands and I wish I could have had other treatments to my disposal.

There are also so many lotions and potions out there that claim to work miracles. I have been disappointed by many! I have recently found a cream that does help me. I have done a review here on BB – Tranquil Body Treats Eczema Cream. This cream works wonderfully on my hands. I use a mixture of olive oil and aqueous cream on my body (approx 20ml of oil mixed into a 500ml pot of cream). But as I said, what works for one may not work for the other. Finding the one that works for you, may be a process of trial and error.

Here are my tips on how to manage this skin condition:

·         Get to know your skin and find out what triggers your eczema

·         Keep your skin moisturized at all times

·         Do not exfoliate when you are experiencing a flare-up

·         Do not bath or shower in water that is too hot as this can dry out your skin

·         Use a mild soap. Dove soap bar works for us.

I wrote this post in the hope that it may help sufferers like me. I do not claim to be an expert! Please visit your doctor if you are struggling to control this uncomfortable condition.