Eczema or dermatitis is a condition of your skin having a rough and inflamed texture having blisters causing it to be itchy and bleeding resulting to irritation, but there is no obvious external cause. Itching can be one of the reasons to damage the skin since itching due to eczema is intense. There will also be scaling on the skin it will flake off and will give the skin the rough and scaly appearance. The redness is the effect to the skin that signals bleeding and may appear blotchy. The fluid-filled blisters can also ooze and form the crust. The affected skin will experience painful, deep cracks that are also called fissures.
Having eczema may be due to an inheritance or weak immune system where the skin is producing less oil and this reduces the skin to be moisturized. Having less moisture in the skin, the cells will tend to widen the spaces it creates will give an access to the bacteria and irritants thus having eczema. Though there is still not complete cure for eczema, but we can reduce the symptoms to a great extent by strengthening the skin and to retain the moisture.
The amazing properties of the coconut oil can help with the treatment of eczema:
- The coconut oil has antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can reduce the inflammation of the affected area.
- The coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA)or medium chain triglycerides (MCT) that will restore the damaged protective outer layer of the skin.
- If the coconut oil will be consumed internally, the lauric acid of the coconut oil will be converted into monolaurin that acts as protective shield against the bacteria, virus, fungus and other microorganisms
- The coconut oil contains capric acid, caprylic acid, vitamin E and Vitamin K the prevents itching, flaking and spreading of the infection.
- The Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) from the coconut oil is easy to break down in our body to use as energy. This will also help support the immune system.
- When coconut oil is being applied to the skin, it penetrates deep into the skin locking the moisture in the cells and protecting it from the environment and free in radical damages.
There are also different types of eczema that will also affect the skin but also varies with ages.
Types of Eczema:
The most common form of eczema and also affects to a person who has a family history of eczema, asthma or hay fever. Though it can be hereditary, but they are not necessarily passed directly from the mother to the child, this may skip the generation.
The atopic conditions in the immune system usually overreact from the things that don’t normally give any harm. Such environmental factors considered to be as irritants (such as detergents, fragrance, soaps) and allergens (pollens, animal fur, house dust mite droppings) will make the skin inflamed and itchy. Dry skin in atopic eczema is thought to be a defective skin barrier. For others, this is caused by the changes in the Flaggrin gene. Flaggrin gene is a structural protein of the skin and deficiency will create a skin barrier breakdown for some people with atopic eczema.
Atopic eczema or sometimes called infantile/childhood eczema and it can affect all ages but mostly on children. The skin of the Children affected with eczema improves as they grow older usually during the puberty stage. Some others will have no signs of eczema as they grow older but it is not assured whether this will happen. As general, children usually have severe symptoms of eczema than the adults. People who had atopic eczema when they were young would tend to have a sensitive skin as adults.
Atopic eczema is a condition that will dry up the skin and may become red or sore (flare up). The skin will calm down for a short time, however, it will be dry and itchy. The main characteristic of an atopic eczema is the itchiness and also be unbearable. Making you want to scratch especially at night interrupts the sleep. Atopic eczema can be small or large patches in any area of the body, it usually starts from the face of the babies down to the neck, back of the knees, inside of the elbows and the wrists.
Spontaneous Flare-ups on the skin would often result to triggers that are not the same as for everyone, like:
- Tree, grass, weed pollens
- Skin infection
- Soaps, detergents, fragrance or perfume
- Changes or extremes on the temperature, also humidity and too much sweating.
- Synthetic or wool clothing
- House-dust mite
- Animal fur or hair and animal saliva
Contact eczema or Contact dermatitis is a common work-related disease also known as an occupational skin disease. This a result of having contact with allergens or irritants within the environment.
- Irritant Contact Dermatitis
It is a reaction from an everyday contact that will irritate the skin like, detergents, soaps, cosmetics, bleach, cold wind and raw food.
The hands and the face are usually the target sites of the irritant contact dermatitis, however, it may also affect the other parts of the body. A person with an atopic eczema as a child has an increased risk of developing an irritant contact dermatitis.
Common symptoms of Irritant contact dermatitis ranges from mild dryness to skin redness appearing the skin burns. These symptoms will be painful, red, ulcerated and fluid-filled.
There are also weak irritants to be considered like solvents, detergents, soaps, diluted acids, diluted alkalis, cement, metallic salts, resins and cutting fluid.
Occupations that are at risk of Irritant Contact dermatitis includes metal workers, nurses, hairdressers and construction workers.
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Is a less common type of eczema. However, a small amount of apparently harmless substance may cause the severity of allergic contact dermatitis.
A person who has an Allergic Contact Dermatitis is caused by a specific allergy to a chemical. Allergy develops due to repeated exposure to the chemical that is in-contact with the skin.
In this case, the allergens have been remembered or sensitized by the body and the defense mechanism that occurs will learn to recognize the reaction between the chemical and the human body especially when in contact.
The reaction of the body from the chemical can be immediate or delayed depending on the type of allergen. The allergic reactions are mostly seen on hands that can cause the skin to be dry, split, red, weeping, cracked, sore, painful, stinging, and fluid filled with an intense itch.
- Allergic Hand Eczema
When having an Allergic Hand Eczema, the hands affected are often to have dry, scaly and itchy with blisters, soreness or splits on the skin. Usual sensitizers are:
- Perfumes from cosmetics or jewelries
- Preservatives from eye and ear drops, topical medicines like cream, steroids, cosmetics, toiletries.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis in adults
Adult Seborrheic Dermatitis is also called as Seborrheic eczema are having rashes on areas of the skin with big amounts of grease or sebaceous glands such as the sides of the nose and the scalp. It usually starts as dandruff on the scalp and gradually turns to redness, irritation, and scaling that will become seborrheic eczema. While the scalp is inflamed, eczema tends to spread that will affect the face and the neck.
Most affected areas are the eyebrows, temples, folds at the sides of the nose and the neck; Affected areas will look red and will shed small white flakes of the skin. If noticed to have seborrheic dermatitis behind the ears are considered to be under bad condition since it will have large, greasy scale stick to the skin and the surrounding hair, making it look thickly crusted. The canal and ear folds will also be affected that will cause an irritation inside the ear, which also called as eczema.
- Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis
Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis or seborrheic eczema is usually found in infants under the age of 1. The eczema is prominent between two weeks to six months after birth. it usually affects the scalp of the baby and commonly called as cradle cap. It may also affect the face, ears, neck, flexural folds (behind the knees, inside the elbows and armpits) and nappy area. on the scalp, it appears to be thick, yellow, waxy scales that stick to the hair and difficult to remove.
The baby’s bottom will also look red, inflamed and flaky. there will also be small, white skin scales that will be rubbed off easily especially if the nappy is tight and will give a shiny appearance on the skin. The redness might extend to the skin folds at the top of the legs, around genitals and between buttocks. It can spread quickly. There can be small, salmon-pink, dry patches on the areas of the body like the face, flexures, and trunk. This may also cover the larger areas.
Discoid or nummular dermatitis and it is usually found in adults with dry skin. The discoid is very distinct, it is a small coined shaped disc that will start bumpy and usually on then lower legs, trunk or forearms. It will start to become very itchy, crusted and infected in few days.
The discoid will then become scaly and it will show clear transparency on the center of the discs leaving the skin dry and flaky. Like other types of eczema, the exact cause is still unknown, although the dry skin is perhaps the most common characteristic seen on people with nummular dermatitis. Other factors that also affects the skin are the irritants such as soaps and detergents and previous experience of atopic eczema.
also known as dyshidrotic eczema and its shows blistering only to the hands and feet. In most of its cases, it involves the development of intense itchy water blisters, affecting mostly on the sides of the fingers, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. This kind of condition may occur at any age but most common on ages below before 40 years.
The skin is very itchy with a burning feeling of heat and prickling in the palms and/or the soles. This will then be followed by a sudden crop of small blisters or vesicles that will turn into bigger weepy blisters and can be infected causing the redness, swelling, pain, and pustules. There will also have subsequent peeling when the skin dries out and the skin will turn red and dry with painful cracks or skin fissures. The Pompholyx eczema can also affect nail folds and the skin around the nails that will cause the swelling or paronychia.
the cause of pompholyx eczema are still unknown, the emotional tension, sensitivity to metal compounds like nickel, cobalt or chromate, sweating and heating might be thought to be the factors that can aggravate the condition.
Asteatotic or also known as eczema cracquelee usually affects people aging 60 years above. Still, the cause of such is still unknown but still be linked with a decreased of oil (sebaceous gland) of the skin surface, low humidity, over cleaning of the skin, hot baths, scrubbing the skin and vigorous drying using a towel.
Asteatotic Eczema appears to shins with crazy paving and the fissures or grooves appears pink and red but only affects the superficial layers of skin. Other areas like the upper arms, thighs and lower can also be affected and can cause a discomfort including soreness and itching.
Varicose or also known as gravitational or stasis eczema. This is common in later life, in particular with women but can also occur on teenage years and onwards. While humans stand and walk upright, at the same time, the pressure of the blood in the veins is greater at the lower legs than anywhere in the body.
When the walls of the leg vein are weak, they cannot stand the high pressure in them wherein the varicose veins usually develop. Having the Varicose, the skin may later crack when it becomes over-dry or will break down if scratched or picked. The skin on the lower leg is considered to become fragile.
Coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer and can be used for eczema on affected areas like hands, legs, and neck. It will moisturize the skin and at the same time prevents the skin from drying out.
- Spread a small amount of coconut oil on affected areas and leave it on the skin until it absorbs completely. For better and soothing effect, apply the coconut oil immediately after a bath.
- Repeat applying 3 times daily.
- May alternatively apply before going to bed and leave it overnight
In using the coconut oil during the bath will also help heal eczema especially in hard to reach places like the buttocks and the back. By using lukewarm water, add a cup of coconut oil (mix it well). Then soak and relax with it for an hour, pat dry using a soft cloth or towel after.
Virgin coconut oil is preferred to be used when applied as treatment since it is more refined and safe from any contaminants.