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.
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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