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Video

Dr Dawn:

Lots of you have been leaving questions on the Embarrassing Bodies website regarding eczema and a lot of you seem to be quite confused about the difference between lotions, creams and ointments. Actually it’s quite simple; it’s down to oil content. Ointments are the most oily, lotions are the least and cream in between. And probably the mainstay of managing eczema is dealing with dryness of the skin. The dryer the skin, the more oily the preparation that you’ll need to treat it.

Lots of questions as well about when you should be using steroid creams. Generally speaking, if you suffer with eczema you will need to use your lotion, cream or ointment on a daily basis but steroids tend to be used only when the skin is becoming inflamed.

Lots of you asking questions as well about the role of diet and a flare of eczema. And it does seem that some people with eczema certain foods can cause a flare. If you think that’s you, then start by keeping a food and symptom diary and you’ll soon see whether there’s a link. If there is, try excluding that food group for a period of time to see if your skin improves. But if you’re considering excluding a food group for any length of time, do speak to a dietician about how you’d replace those lost nutrients from your diet.

And someone asking is it possible to get eczema on the penis, yes it is. If you suffer with eczema you can get it anywhere. Probably the most common places that you get eczema would be the flexors of the elbows and behind the knees but you can get it absolutely anywhere.

And lots of questions about stress and eczema. A question here from a gentleman whose 40, never had eczema before, very stressed at work and has developed eczema. Are the two linked? Yes, you can develop eczema later in life and often stress will flare it so it’s important that you go and see your GP and get that checked out.

And there is a question here from someone who says that his eczema is really impacting on his social life such that he doesn’t go out because if he does he just sits and itches. Now, you absolutely must go and see your GP. Eczema is a chronic condition, we can’t cure it but we can manage it and there are lots and lots of different treatments. So you must go back and see your GP, get your eczema treated and get back to your social life.

A lot of you are finding that certain shampoos and soaps make your eczema worse and that’s because a lot of perfumed products tend to dry out the skin and we know that dryness is probably the biggest problem in eczema. So, throw your soap away and use an emollient. It won’t lather in the same way but it will do the job just as well.

And a lot of you are commenting that the only thing that seems to work for you is getting out and sunbathing. Well, there is some science behind that, in very severe eczema we use UV therapy in a way of improving the skin, but be careful. Sunbathing may improve your eczema in the short term but in the long term it does cause premature ageing and it also increases you risk of skin cancer.

And if you’re worried about rashes and skin conditions why not try the Embarrassing Bodies Rashes and Skin Problems My VideoDoctor.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Eczema & Skin Problems

In this quick video, Dr Dawn answers your most pressing questions about eczema and related skin conditions.

The majority of these questions were submitted on our condition guide to eczema.

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Comments and Questions

Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
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I'm 19 and everytime I either go out with mates or I finish having a shower I get red itchy marks all over my body but mostly on my back as it occurs the most and then it will lead on to my arms,upper body and then sometimes on my legs. I tried e45 cream it does work but only for a short certain amount of time, I've had this condition now for the last couple of Years now and its really getting out of hand now and when I do sports my body doesn't seem to sweat either it feels like my skin is burning up, I need help with this asap!





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I have eczema since I was born, ND my fingers keeps peeling is this in relation to eczema..





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I have some allergy first it was so itching i thought it is dry skin i put moisturizer after two days my legs side and my buttocks got red and more itch i work on the computer and realized that my under pant lying are wet That may be I rub a lot and it got infected I am visitor I didn't had any skin problem whole of my life not heard of this that it will come to my bottom side embarrassing area I am very conscious about it, I am vising Boston please advice for any medical help thanks I am 55 years





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Please help we are desperate my husband has dermatitis head to to to the point now it has spread to the penis area. The doctors say he need to get it under control but none of the steriod cream moisturising creams are not working tablets not working hes constantly on steriods and antibiotics cuz his skin is infected hes so unhappy to the point he wont even go to work its affecting our home life our children we cant even sleep in the same bed its so hard we tell the doctor this and all they say is he has to live with it we have started tryin home remedies and no change. He has been under the hospital now for three years all he gets is an 88pound prescription a month which we can barely afford to pay for as his prepayment card ran out and cant get another at the moment so he is having to go without no medication we just dont know wat to do





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Hi i am 14 and i have mild exzema and after getting it very young i have found out that using hydrating body mist instead of perfume helps a lot also drinking plenty of water, getting out in the sun often with (suntan lotion) as well a applying moisturizer regularly on dry areas. A show of my lucky success is that I used to have exzema on my legs but now that seems to have faded and I also had it unfortunately on my scalp but now i use alternatively vosene and t-gel shampoos with no conditioner and now it only gets irritated in summer or hot days. My life has become much better from taking advice from other people as my older sister and my friend also had/have exzema and along the way I found out some of my own tricks to help. My advice to anyone with mild exzema is to do what makes you feel comfortable and relaxed in your free time especially if your my age with all the pressure on us nowadays (it's a wonder that not more people have serious exzema!) also to relax yourself i would try rescue remedy because it relaxes you before exams, big/important tests and everyday life. Less stress will more likely than not help with exzema. Also go to your local doctors because they can prescribe some wonderful creams that you only have to put on once/twice a day and make a huge change to your life! I hope this helped! :-)





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I have a rash on my chest, back, shoulder and a bit on my legs and arms. It's gone from red bumps to smooth red blotches?





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Hi my 8 month old baby suffer from eczema is there anything to stop the itching





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Hey my name is nat n l have dermitis on my legs n arms back etc what should I do I scratch so bad I see clear stuff on my legs





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Hi I'm not sure Iif I have threadworms, I have ibs and my bottom itches fairly often, is it ok to get over the counter please?





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I need your help!! I'm a 18 year old guy who's struggling with keratosis Pilaris, a skin disease that has no intentions to disappear and it's staring to spread out into every spot of my body. I've struggled with this condition since I was very young and it's. Driving me nuts. My doctor has given me a cream called stieva but it hasn't been helpful. I don't know what to do or where to go to. Please, please help . .... I'm very desperate.





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