It's Time to start taking Skin Irritations Seriously!

/ Al Kayyali

Many of us believe that we are born with certain types of skin irritations. We claim that we managed them since we were children and have learnt to “cope” with their irritating feeling.

baby with atopic dermatitis on face

One of the most prominent skin conditions or irritations seen in Qatar is Eczema.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a rash-like skin condition that can be chronic in some cases. The word “eczema” refers to the most common skin condition, atopic dermatitis. Atopic refers to a collection of immune-mediated diseases that include asthma and hay fever, which can be inherited. However, “eczema” is a term given to any superficial inflammatory response that appears on the skin.

Signs of Eczema

  • redness,
  • itching,
  • weeping,
  • oozing,
  • crusting, or scaling
  • pigmentation.

What Triggers Eczema?

There are many types of eczema, and as many possible causes for this condition. A combination of hereditary and environmental factors can trigger an eczema flare-up. Some soaps, detergents, shampoos, foods, dust mites, pollen, mold, hot weather, perspiration and heat, dairy products, soy products, nuts and seeds are just some on the long list of eczema triggers.

Dr. Shireen, dermatologist at Al Kayyali Medical Center

Consultant in Dermatology and Cosmetics at Al Kayyali Medical Center, Dr. Shireen Khalil, said that most people ignore their skin problems until it is sometimes too late for simple treatments.

“We always try to tackle the condition in its early stages, the longer the patient waits to get treatment, the more aggressive the treatment gets.”

Treat Eczema is even more prominent in children in Qatar, noticed Dr. Khalil, “I see some patients who come in (mostly children) and their parents talk about how their skin eczema has gotten a little worse recently, not knowing that eczema is bad in the first place.” This causes the child to become more subconscious about his/her condition, losing focus in school, and even refusing to participate in social settings.

According to Dr. Khalil, the most reoccurring problem she hears from parents about their children’s eczema is “they have dry skin” or “they keep scratching” or “they have sensitive skin.” Although she tries to let the parents know that these are not the reasons behind the eczema, many still seem to believe it.

Dr. Arbcima Habashy, general practitioner in dermatology at Qatar Medical Center, said that she prefers natural treatments over chemical medicines, especially for children. “the spring time is changing weather, so we see most people suffering from irritations and allergies, this is normal,” said Dr. Habashy.

“In most cases eczema is seen on the face and upper eyelids. It is most severe in the elbows, knees, and underarms, where dirt and sweat accumulates causing the skin to be irritated.”

moisturising eczema flare up to sooth irritation

Here are 10 tips to dealing with eczema, no matter how old you are:

  1. Avoid harsh soaps and shampoos
  2. Use more natural ingredient-based soaps (those with less chemicals)
  3. Frequently wash your face, mouth, and nose with clean water.
  4. Use a humidifier or put your AC on low humidity to keep your air fresh and damp.
  5. Avoid scratching the infected area – this will cause further irritation and inflammation/infection
  6. Use natural moisturizers whenever possible, especially after bathing
  7. Keep your fingernails clipped (if night scratching is a problem, consider wearing cotton gloves)
  8. Keep infected or itchy skin covered, this will allow you less access to scratch it with your nails.
  9. Distract yourself from scratching – occupy your focus with something to do with both hands like playing a game.
  10. Always check with your dermatologist for more treatment options that are non-aggressive.

Now that you know how to protect your skin from eczema, you can protect others by spreading the word about these simple tips. Talk more about it with your friends and family and take action against skin irritations by booking an appointment with a dermatologist today!

It's Time to start taking Skin Irritations Seriously!
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