15 September 2004

Fighting against eczema

Eczema is a general term encompassing inflamed skin conditions, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Eczema is a general term encompassing inflamed skin conditions, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

One of the most common forms of eczema is atopic eczema. Up to 20 percent of the world population is affected by this chronic, relapsing and very itchy rash during childhood. Fortunately, the disease clears and often disappears with age.

Although its cause is unknown, eczema seems to be an abnormal response of the body's immune system. The inflammatory response to irritating substances is overactive, causing itching and scratching.

Managing eczema
Eczema isn't contagious, but it can't be cured. However, for most patients the condition may be managed with treatment and avoidance of triggers.

Some ways to fight eczema include moisturising, avoiding sudden changes in temperature or humidity, reducing stress and being aware of any foods that can cause an outbreak.

If the condition persists, worsens or does not improve, another effective treatment is the application of corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce inflammation. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Skin Centre
Eczema treatments compared


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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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