In detail, what is Eczema?
Eczema is also called dermatitis. It's a chronic skin condition that makes the skin red, itchy, dry and cracked. Flare-ups can occur on every part of the body. There are different kinds of eczema and the affliction varies from person to person. It is considered a challenging and distressing skin condition to manage.
The two most common types are atopic eczema (which occurs mainly in areas where the skin folds) and contact eczema (usually found on hands and feet).
Living with eczema can be very difficult. There is the psychological side: the visible symptoms make many sufferers self-conscious. But eczema also has a big impact on physical wellbeing, as the constant itching may lead to sleepless nights and fatigue.
Different types of eczema
What triggers Eczema?
A healthy skin is a barrier that protects our bodies from harmful effects of the environment. If you suffer from eczema, the ‘building blocks’ of the skin cells (lipids) are broken down, reducing the protective barrier. The skin dries and becomes vulnerable to external irritants and allergens. This can lead to inflammation and scaly, red, itchy skin.
The chance of developing eczema depends on both genetic factors and external circumstances, such as the environment or the profession one does (for instance, a hairdresser is more likely to be exposed to chemical irritants). Most people who suffer from this condition have a family history of allergies. Eczema flare-ups typically occur when the immune system responds to external triggers that are able to penetrate the skin with a dysfunctional barrier.
Atopic eczema flare-ups are often triggered by a physical reaction to certain foods, plants, textiles or animals. Other known triggers are stress, smoking, sweating, pollen, and cold or dry weather conditions.
Contact eczema is caused by skin contact with a particular substance. This can be a so-called ‘irritant’ (a substance that damages the skin) or an ‘allergen’ (a substance that triggers the immune system to react in way that affects the skin).
Irritants include detergents, perfumes and cosmetics, machine oil, soil, cement powder, certain plants - and even water.
Allergens can include cosmetic ingredients, certain metals such as nickel, rubber, latex and textiles.
Whatever the trigger, eczema can be a serious and life-affecting condition. The skin has a weak and malfunctioning barrier, which easily loses moisture and lets in irritants. Therefore, effective treatment requires a product that not only treats the symptoms, but moisturizes the skin and helps to restore its protective barrier.
Who has Eczema?
Up to 10% of the adult population suffers from eczema, with men and women equally affected. The first symptoms often appear during childhood, as about 20% of all children have eczema. As they get older, this condition normally improves or disappears completely [4-6].
Eczema usually starts in infancy (infantile eczema), with most patients developing symptoms in the first year of life (the skin is still underdeveloped and hence more prone to irritation or allergies).
In young babies, eczema is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, behind the ears and on the hands or feet.
As the child gets older, the distribution changes towards the insides of the arms and legs, the creases of the elbows and knees, the wrists, ankles, and hands.
In general, eczema symptoms become less severe with time. Many children “outgrow” eczema by the age of 2.
Eczema symptoms can return later in life. Approximately one third of atopic eczema patients can also develop asthma and/or hay fever.
How to treat Eczema?
Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. Clinical tools are available that assist doctors in assessing the severity and extent of eczema.
Mild to moderate eczema is usually treated with products that moisturise the skin (emollients) and products containing mild steroids.
***for restriction to treatment for Dermalex: “rare case of allergy can be occured if you are hypersensitive to one of the ingredients which is also the case for all other products.
These are moisturizers, available as creams, ointments and lotions. They can be applied generously to keep the skin moist and soft and prevent it from cracking. There are also emollient substitutes for soap, bath oil and shower gel (products that dry out the skin and can be irritating for people with eczema).
Emollients work on the surface of the skin and don’t tackle the inflammation.
When the flare-ups become inflamed, sore and very itchy, products containing topical steroids are often prescribed. Topical means that the product is applied to the skin. Steroids are hormones, effective in reducing the inflammation with various potency but they don’t hydrate the skin or maintain the skin's protective barrier. For instance, hydrocortisone is considered a mild steroid, while Clobetasol is very potent.
Over-The-Counter topical steroids should generally be used in the short-term to control flare-ups. Your Doctor will provide the best advice for duration of use.
Dermalex both treats the symptoms, as well as moisturising the skin and repairing its natural barrier.
This unique dual action makes Dermalex Eczema cream effective in the treatment of eczema . It stimulates the skin's own repair mechanism, prevents further moisture loss and protects from irritants and allergens. It has been proven to be well tolerated, and can be used long-term .
This product is a medical device.
Susceptibility to eczema is often genetic and there’s still no cure for this extremely irritating skin condition. There are more and more studies showing promising results for prevention of eczema by using emollients from infancy, but still more proof is needed . What you can do is avoid the threats and triggers as much as possible to control the flare-ups.
Consider having yourself tested for the specific substances that trigger your allergic reactions, contributing to your eczema.
Maintain your personal health
Maintaining good personal health and hygiene is especially important if you are prone to eczema. Keep your skin clean by showering regularly and use emollient cleansers, gels and specialised shampoos.
Physical exertion and sweating can cause itching, so take a lukewarm shower as soon as possible after physical exercise, and apply a moisturing cream afterwards. Try to get enough sleep so that you aren't tired, and avoid stress, as these can also trigger eczema flare-ups. Cigarette smoke is another substance that triggers eczema, so avoid smoke where possible.
External irritants can play a significant role in eczema flare-ups, so it's wise to avoid them if possible. Wear cotton clothing rather than woolen, and avoid nylon.
Sleep in a fresh, cool room and avoid exposing your skin to either excessive heat or cold. Use a humidifier to moisten the air during dry seasons, and in winter when central heating dries out the air, causing itching.
Swimming pool chlorine can irritate the skin, so it's important to take a shower immediately after swimming. Apply a moisturizing cream afterwards.
Dermalex Eczema moisturizes the skin as emollients do, but also stimulates the skin’s own repair mechanism. This enables the skin to rebuild its protective barrier to prevent future flare-ups. It has been proven to be as effective as a mild steroid (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) in relieving eczema symptoms during 6 weeks of treatment and is suitable for long-term use .
It comes in three creams, each optimized to treat different types of eczema at different ages:
- Dermalex hand irritation cream (from 6 yo)
- Dermalex treatment for atopic eczema in adults (from 6 yo)
- Dermalex atopic eczema cream for babies and children (from 8 wo)
What makes these solutions unique  is that they combine the efficacy of a mild steroid with the gentleness of emollients.
The Dermalex eczema creams have been proven effective in the treatment of mild to moderate cases of eczema .
Dermalex Eczema cream works as follows:
- treats the symptoms
- moisturises the affected skin
- replenishes the missing lipids to restore the skin’s protective barrier, preventing irritants and allergens from entering the skin
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5. Bieber, T., Atopic dermatitis. Ann Dermatol, 2010. 22(2): p. 125-37.
6. Larsen FS, H.J., Epidemiology of Atopic Dermatitis. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am, 2002. 22: p. 1-24.
7. Koppes SA, C.F., Lammers LA, Frings-Dresen M, Kezic S, Rustemeyer T, Efficacy of a Cream Containing Ceramides and Magnesium in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Atopic Dermatitis: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Emollient- and Hydrocortisone-Controlled Trial. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 2016.
8. Simpson, E.L., et al., Emollient enhancement of the skin barrier from birth offers effective atopic dermatitis prevention. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2014. 134(4): p. 818-23.
9. International, O.P., A unique trademarked complex, MagneoLite as the key ingredient of the product. 2015.
10. Z, K.M.a.K., Multi-center clinical observation of contact eczema treatment., in Data on file. 2009.
11. Abbas, S., Childhood Eczema – a Holistic Approach Towards Healing: Eliminate & Prevent Childhood Eczema Naturally. 2015: Lulu Press Inc.