Eczema is a skin condition that does not have a known cure. Although it can be unpleasant, unsightly and very uncomfortable, eczema is not contagious, nor is it infectious. However sometimes a case of eczema can become so severe that other infections (known as secondary infections) can result.
The greatest enemy of eczema prone skin is dryness which can cause all symptoms to become a great deal worse. When the epidermal layer of the skin loses a tremendous amount of moisture, it allows the skin the susceptibility to be invaded by a number of infections, some of which are viral while other are bacterial.
Secondary Infection Types
Some examples of secondary infections that eczema sufferers can develop include herpes simplex, warts, viral molluscum, as well as staphylococcal and streptococcal bacterial skin infections. Other secondary skin problems that can result from the worsening of eczema include, but are not limited to,
- Papules (or small raised rough bumps on the skin)
- Crusting as well as scaling of the skin
- Cheilitis (also known as inflammation around the lip area)
- Eyelids that become much darker in color
One of the simplest ways to prevent infections that could stem from eczema is to keep your skin well moisturized. Use a gentle moisturizer for eczema prone skin such as Aquaphor, Alpha Keri, Eucerin, Curel, Lubriderm, Moisturel or Vaseline twice a day and even more if you feel it is necessary.
Don’t ever allow your skin to become parched, instead moisturize it so it never gets to the point of feeling as though it has been out in the desert without water for days! Speaking of moisture, hydrate yourself well on the inside of day. Drink six to eight glasses of purified water per day. This will help flush out your organs and guard against infections.
Broken or cracked skin is an entryway for bacteria to enter into the skin so avoid this happening by resisting the urge to scratch. Use cortisone cream or extra moisturizer when you feel the itch coming on. For added protection, keep your fingernails at a short length so you wont be able to cause as much damage to the skin if you do scratch.
If scratching at night is a problem consider investing in a pair or thin gloves and wearing them at night while you sleep. If your skin does have cracks or breaks in it that came about despite your best efforts to prevent them, apply antibiotic cream to them liberally and if necessary bandage the wounded area of skin until it begins to heal.
Other Eczema Tips
Other ways to help avoid infections that stem from eczema include using an air-purification system in your home or workplace to filter out air particles that could serve to cause a flare-up of your skin condition. As well, use a humidifier in your home, which will serve to keep moisture in the air and thus not contribute to drying out your skin excessively.
In your diet increase your consumption of fatty fish such as salmon and sardines. Also eat more raw seeds such as flax seeds or pumpkin seeds. Flax seed is also available in oil or powder form. These foods all contain high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, which are an excellent way to reduce swelling in the skin.
Avoid consuming trans-fatty acids in the form of hydrogenated oils as much as you can as these tend to promote diseases as well as decreasing the effectiveness of the immune system.
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