Eczema and dermatitis are often interchanged with one another, as they are words that describe a type of skin inflammation. 

The uncontrollable itching episodes, the bloody discharge, and pain can be intolerable and exhausting to go through. Eczema does not only affect the skin, but it can affect one's quality of life, causing poor sleep often resulting in poor performance in school/work.  

At Nielsen Clinic (Calgary), we help develop a treatment plan specific to your current health needs and skin care needs. While eczema can be hard to treat, not all hope is lost as we help our patients get to the root cause of their skin problems. 

Below are sections offering information for common questions as well as various elements of eczema. 

+ What is Eczema (Dermatitis)?

Eczema or dermatitis is a reference to a particular group of inflammatory skin disease. Eczema (dermatitis) shows up on the skin with irritated, red, rough skin that is itchy and may even have bumps that are fluid-filled which may ooze and crust.

An intense itch often accompanies the rashes, resulting in a negative impact of daily activities including sleep. The itching experienced by eczema sufferers is perhaps the most physically and emotionally exhausting part of eczema.

There are two main types of dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis.

Atopic Dermatitis Is the most common type of eczema seen by doctors. While atopic dermatitis may start at a young age, it can affect any age group. Most often atopic dermatitis affects infants and young children. It starts with an itch on the skin which is then followed by inflamed skin, usually behind the knees, elbows, face, neck, and hands.

It is not uncommon for these children to develop asthma or seasonal allergies (hay fever).

Contact Dermatitis There are two types of contact dermatitis; allergic or irritant dermatitis, both of which may occur at any time in life. In general, when your skin comes into contact with an allergen your skin will usually not overreact to it. However, for those who suffer from contact dermatitis, your outer layer of skin became irritated and inflamed resulting in damage to the skin.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis: usually occurs 48 hours after your skin comes into contact with a substance that your skin is sensitive to, resulting in inflammation of your skin which causes the skin rash and itch.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis: is more common than allergic contact dermatitis. Frequent hand washing, soaps, detergents and cleaning products are the most common cause of irritant contact dermatitis.

+ What causes Eczema (Dermatitis)?

Eczema has several factors that result in its development. Three main factors may lead to the development of eczema.
Since the 1970's eczema has been on the increase. While it not known why there has been a significant increase in eczema, the “hygiene hypothesis” perhaps offers the best answer.

The “hygiene hypothesis” is based on the theory that the recent reduction in the frequency of childhood infections may have paved the way for our immune system to overreact to our environment causing eczema, asthma, and allergies.

Factor 1 - Genetics
Eczema is passed through the genes, as it is estimated that at least 50% of patients who suffer from moderate to severe eczema may have a defect in their gene coding for a protein found in your skin.

The protein is called filaggrin, which helps maintain your skin's protective barrier. When this protein is not functioning appropriately, your skin barrier allows various types of allergens and bacteria to enter inside the skin resulting in inflammation of your skin as well as a rash which shows up as a result of your immune system trying to protect your body from these invaders.

Factor 2 - Environment
Factors such as clothing, soaps, perfumes, makeup, pets, and plants can cause an allergic reaction when your skin gets into contact with them.
Foods also may play a role in your skin's health as your skin is a reflection of your inner health and wellbeing.
Food sensitivities are more common in young children with severe eczema. The most common triggers are cows' milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and nuts.

Factor 3 - Emotional Wellbeing
Psychological stress is a major factor in most diseases. In the field of dermatology, stress has the greatest influence on the outcome of a patient's treatment.

Emotional stress causes inflammation to occur inside your body. As a result of the increase in inflammation, your skin, which is already susceptible to inflammation, develops eczema (dermatitis).

Finding a way to manage your stress and treat the physiological impact of stress may help improve the treatment outcome of your eczema.

+ What are symptoms of eczema (dermatitis)?

Eczema first symptom is an intense itch on the skin. After a short time, a rash typically will appear as a red and bumpy rash. As the rash progresses, it can increase the severity of itching and burning. In more severe cases the skin can ooze and become crusty (this requires a healthcare professional to provide appropriate treatment as it is a sign of secondary infection).

+ Self-care & Prevention - Eczema (Dermatitis)

Find and avoid trigger factors.
Avoid soap and bubble bath, as both can dry out the skin.
Avoid scratching too hard.
Take warm showers and avoid hot baths as they may make your eczema worse.
Moisturisers your skin daily.
Detergents avoid using fabric conditioners and consider adding an extra rinse cycle when using a washing machine.

+ Eczema (Dermatitis) Treatment - How We Can Help

Step 1 - Listen and understand your concerns: Listen to your health concerns, symptoms, review your health history and check your hormones.

Step 2 - Start your treatment plan to address your main areas of concern: Start your initial treatment plan to address eczema symptoms you are struggling with.

Step 3 - Treating your cause: Tailor your treatment to address underlying immune and hormonal dysfunction to help you recover from eczema.

 

Natural Eczema Treatment - NIELSEN CLINIC 3R's (Remove, Restore & Recoer)

Remove

Eczema - natural treatment (homeopathy, acupuncture)

Remove: Inflammation & itch by helping reduce the immune system's over response as well as reduce the severity and frequency of itching episodes.

 Restore

Eczema - home remedies

Restore: the skin's normal function by reducing its sensitivity to potential allergens. 

Recover

Eczema - natural home remedies

Recover: Help restore the skin's ability to retain moisture and restore the skin to its normal healthy functions.