Hypoallergenic bamboo is an excellent precautionary measure against eczema flare-ups. It also provides support during treatment and recovery.
What is Eczema?
Dermatitis is another term for eczema, a dry skin condition. There are many different types of eczema and the signs and symptoms vary widely from person to person. It is very common in children but it can occur at any age into adulthood. Those affected during childhood and outgrow eczema would find that the skin condition could reappear in adulthood.
The numbers in the UK reveal that out of five children and out of twelve in adults, one would develop symptoms of the skin disease. It was also found that almost all skin diseases brought about by occupational hazards lead to eczema and contact dermatitis.
Skin with Eczema
Healthy skin protects the body from bacteria, irritants and allergens. What helps retain moisture, controls body temperature, and wards off harmful substances or bacteria are the fats and oils produced by the skin.
Skin affected with eczema is not able to generate the amount of fats and oils that normal skin does, and is also not able to stay as moisturised. The dry parts of the skin with eczema cause gaps to open, thus lowering the defenses of the skin. When the lower layers of the skin become dry, it makes the body vulnerable to the entry of harmful and infectious substances.
Skin with eczema is dry and devoid of moisture thus it is easily damaged. When this happens, the skin becomes red and puffed up especially when it is exposed to allergens and irritants that can cause an allergic reaction.
Proper management of the various types of eczema means keeping the skin soft and supple through the continued and copious use of emollients. Emollients prevent cracks from appearing in the skin as it also conserves the moisture and flexibility of the skin, thus making it feel more comfortable and not irritated. To control and minimize dryness and itchiness, it is necessary to include the use of skin cleansing products containing emollients in the regular skin care regimen of people with eczema.
People affected with eczema should avoid using soap because it has ingredients that can aggravate the dryness of their skin. The most susceptible are the hands because they are washed more frequently. Other products which could cause skin irritation and which these particular persons should avoid are liquid soaps or cleansers and products that contain scents and fragrances.
Soap substitutes with emollients clean the skin as effectively as the ordinary soap even though they do not form suds or foam. It is suggested to use soap substitutes before bathing, showering or washing, and before soaking in water – such as when going swimming.
Various kinds of emollient bath oils and shower gels are available on the market. For example, there are those that can be applied directly to the skin all over the body and those that can be used with a sponge before showering.
Topical steroids are usually used to treat and bring down the redness, soreness, and itchiness of the skin during an eczema flare up. Topical steroids are often used for occasional treatment in bursts, and are recommended to be used together with the application of emollients. For severe eczema outbreaks, the prescribed treatment is to apply an ointment for two consecutive days within the week on the affected areas of the skin where the flare-ups occur. This treatment is usually called ‘weekend therapy’. It is known to more effectively manage and control the flare cycle as compared to when topical steroids are used only when necessary.
There is no rule dictating the order of usage between topical steroids and emollients. What is important to keep in mind is to leave about a 30-minute time period in between the treatments.
Eczema may worsen and treating it may become more difficult if infection is allowed to set in; thus, it is crucial to take steps in order to avoid and prevent it.
What causes infection in eczema?
Exposure to bacteria, fungi, and viruses can cause infection in eczematous skin.
Staphylococcus aureus, usually found in cracked, weeping skin, is the most common bacterium found in skin with eczema. This type of bacterium is found in skin affected by atomic eczema even without an infection. Infection from this bacterium makes eczema worse, does not encourage healing, and multiplies the bacterium as the eczema becomes severe.
Fungal infections are common for people without eczema. Persons affected with eczema are defenseless against these infections.
Yeast infections from Candida or ‘thrush’ can easily occur especially in warm moist folds of skin.
Tinea or ‘ringworm’ are isolated patches and can affect any part of the body including in between the toes, which is commonly known as ‘athlete’s foot’.
A severe infection called the eczema herpeticum can be caused by the cold sore virus, a.k.a herpes simplex, in a person affected by eczema who has a low resistance to the virus. Therefore, these particular persons should avoid anyone who has a cold sore.
Hypoallergenic Bamboo Support
Hypoallergenic bamboo can help people with eczema by protecting their skin from contact with bacteria and fungi that can worsen their condition. Bacteria thrive in certain conditions and on certain types of fabrics as well as in the air. By using hypoallergenic bamboo instead of other materials for pillowcases, bedding, sleep masks, curtains, clothing, closet dehumidifiers and more, contact with bacteria can be reduced.