Part 1 – What is eczema?
I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write a blog about eczema as it’s actually something that I not only see a lot of in my clinic but also suffer from myself. It was also what started me on the journey of becoming a medical herbalist.
Accrording to the Eczema society, one in five children and one in twelve adults suffer from eczema.
So what is it?
Eczema is actually a very broad term meaning ‘itchy red skin’, and that covers a lot of different skin conditions with different causes.
So what are the main types of eczema?
- Atopic eczema
Atopic eczema is the genetic type of eczema, it often runs in families and has links to hayfever and asthma.
- Contact eczema or dermatitis
This type of eczema flares up when in contact with for example harsh chemicals. It is most commonly found on hands but can show across the body, if for example the irritant to blame is washing powder.
- Pompholyx (sometimes known as dyshidrotic) eczema
This type of eczema presents with blisters of clear fluid on hands and feet, restricting movement and causing pain.
There are other forms of eczema but these are the main types, for pictures and more detailed information visit http://www.eczema.org/types-of-eczema.
I personally suffer from all three of the main types of eczema. As I’m typing this my hands are covered in red scaly and dry skin typical of atopic eczema. I used a hand wash that was too strong my skin and it has taken over a week for my skin to recover.
In the next parts of this blog I will talk about the role of diet, and natural treatments that are available.
If you suffer from eczema and would like to see a medical herbalist, you can find one local to you via this link.