Imagine your house has a gate to protect you from intruders. Suddenly, when the gate breaks down, intruders easily break in and are hard to fend off. This is what happens to your skin. If the barriers that protect your skin break down, the intruders, pathogens, enter easily. All hell can break loose as a result. This loss of skin defense is called eczema.
It has been estimated that almost 31.6 million Americans experience the symptoms of eczema. Worldwide, it’s believed that up to 20% of children and 3% of adults have eczema. In this article, we will outline a treatment guide for eczema with some remedies that you can use.
Eczema, scientifically known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition which makes your skin itchy, red, cracked, and rough. It most often affects children, but there are some cases where atopic dermatitis may affect an adult.
Common eczema symptoms include:
These symptoms can still vary depending on the person’s age. In babies it appears on the cheeks and the outer surfaces of their arms and legs. Sometimes though it may show on the back, chest, and tummy. Eczema in children, teenagers, and adults will usually appear on the back of their knees, inside of their elbows, and at the back of their neck. Typically adult eczema occurs in places where the skin tends to stretch. Rashes and itchiness can also develop on their palms, soles, and even face.
The largest organ in our body is our skin. It protects us from microorganisms that can be dangerous to our health. It has three layers:
This outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, has its own layers. These layers are:
The corneal layer is the barrier of the epidermis. It is also the visible part that protects the body from pathogens or germs. It is capable of renewing itself. But in people with eczema, this corneal layer can no longer provide enough protection because it is damaged by the skin infection.
Possible causes have been considered. One possible cause is a mutated gene, because there isn’t enough protein filaggrin. Low protein filaggrin causes the skin to lose its moisture.
Once the skin is damaged, it cannot protect your body from irritation and allergens that can lead to infection. Another cause can be allergies. Allergens will affect the immune system which will lead to the release of more antibodies. These antibodies will then lead to inflammation. Environmental factors can also trigger eczema. Once the skin has become irritated, you are more prone to atopic dermatitis or eczema.
Although there is no cure for eczema, there are treatments that you can use to limit the flare up of your eczema. These treatments will not worsen your eczema. Treatments for minor eczema include:
Primary treatment options you can use for chronic or severe eczema are:
There are other basic home remedies that you can use. Medical cannabis in particular is one which has gained a huge amount of attention in the media in recent years and is being used to treat eczema more and more each day.
Medical Cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, is a plant-based compound that is derived from cannabis sativa or cannabis indica. It has two well-known components: THC and CBD. There are perhaps over 100 more, but THC and CBD have been tried and tested for medicinal purposes in countless scientific research studies. THC is known for its mind-altering effect since it is the reason why people have a “high” feeling after smoking cannabis.
There are two synthetic forms of THC: dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). These two synthetic forms have been approved by FDA to prevent nausea and vomiting for patients undergoing chemotherapy. CBD, or cannabidiol, unlike THC, is not psychoactive. It provides medical benefits as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Medical cannabis is believed to treat skin conditions such as eczema because of the way it interacts with our endocannabinoid systems. The endocannabinoid system is a system of receptors which are scattered throughout the body. This system is believed to be in charge of regulating skin health, pain and mood. As a result, both CBD and THC are being studied as possible treatments for a whole host of conditions relating to these three areas in particular, including eczema.
Eczema can be a really horrible condition to have to deal with. The effect on the skin can cause insecurities and a lack of confidence. It can be painful too. And the constant threat of a breakout can cause immense stress or anxiety. Finding the right treatment for you is vital. Whether that is a topical cream or medical cannabis, there is one out there that will minimize your symptoms and give you some much needed relief and comfort from your eczema.