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meaning of the word "eczema” can cause confusion. Many people use this
word to refer to a common skin condition called atopic dermatitis. When
this is the meaning, the words "eczema/atopic dermatitis” may be used.
What Eczema Looks Like
What causes some types of eczema is clear-cut. One type of eczema, irritant contact dermatitis, develops after frequent exposure to a mild irritant such as a detergent or brief exposure to a strong irritant such as battery acid. Another type, allergic contact dermatitis develops when an allergen (substance to which a person is allergic) touches the skin. Common allergens include poison ivy and nickel. A nickel allergy is actually one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis. Many everyday objects contain nickel, including coins, buttons, jewelry, and eyeglass frames. The exact cause of other types of eczema is not fully understood. Researchers believe that atopic dermatitis develops when many factors combine. These factors include inheriting certain genes, having an overactive immune system, and having something that dermatologists call a "barrier defect.” A barrier defect is a term that means "gaps in the skin.” These gaps allow the skin to lose water too quickly. The gaps also allow germs and other things too small to see with the naked eye to enter the body.
Seborrheic dermatitis is another type of eczema that seems to develop when a number of factors interact. These factors include the person’s genes, yeast that live on human skin, stress, climate, and overall general health. Research shows that seborrheic dermatitis tends to be severe in people who have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This indicates that the person’s immune system plays a role. How do Dermatologists Diagnose Eczema?
If your dermatologist suspects any type of eczema, the doctor will take a complete medical history, ask about your (or your child’s) symptoms, and examine your (or your child’s) skin. This provides enough information to accurately diagnose many types of eczema.
Eczema is usually diagnosed through a physical examination. If in doubt, or your doctor feels that you need further tests, you may be referred to a skin specialist, called a dermatologist. Further tests may include skin biopsy, in which a small sample of the inflamed skin is removed for testing, or patch tests, in which little patches of different substances are stuck to your skin for a few days to see if you react to any of them.
Depending on your pattern of skin symptoms, your doctor will ask about your personal and family allergy history, your history of exposure to irritating chemicals and your contact with potential allergy triggers, such as poison ivy.
In many cases, your doctor can diagnose eczema by examining the skin. If your doctor suspects that allergies are involved, patch testing with various allergenic chemicals (nickel, lanolin, fragrances, etc.) may be necessary.
Foods To Avoid Eczema:
Which are the best foods to avoid eczema? 10 to 20% of the world's population suffers from eczema. Eczema is a skin condition that results in flaky, itchy and red skin due to environmental and/or physical irritants. No one is immune to eczema but if you have a family history of the skin disorder you are more risk of developing the disease.
Unfortunately there is no cure for eczema but there are things that you can do to prevent triggers and symptoms. A trigger is an external or internal irritant that will cause a reaction. The best way to handle this skin condition is to know which foods to avoid with eczema.
One of the first foods to avoid with eczema is dairy products. Dairy products have a long history of being the cause of eczema symptoms and reactions. There is a certain type of protein in dairy that is called casein; the milk protein. This protein has been responsible for many cases of eczema flare-ups. People with allergies to dairy may think that their allergies are due to lactose. Yet when they choose a lactose free product they still get an allergic and/or eczema reaction. The reason for this is because many lactose-free and even soy products contain casein.
Wheat is another one of those foods to avoid eczema. Many people find that their symptoms increase when they consume foods such as pretzels, crackers, breads and muffins. Then there are those who have a gluten intolerance and this is the cause of their eczema reactions.
Nuts can be another culprit for those who suffer or are predisposed to eczema reactions. If you notice that the eczema increases when you consume nuts such as hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanuts and/or almonds then be sure to eliminate those out of your diet.
The next foods to avoid with eczema may be difficult for many of you. Foods that produce high amounts of acid should be avoided. These foods include chicken, beef and pork. These three meats are among the most acidifying foods. Many eczema sufferers have noticed improved conditions when cutting down or eliminating these foods from their diet. If meat cannot be avoided then it can definitely be reduced to perhaps twice a week or once a week. If you do choose to continue consuming meat be sure that you always purchase organic meat that is free of hormones and antibiotics.
Seafood is one that you have to be careful of because certain types of seafood are foods that can trigger eczema. Common seafood allergies stem from mussels, crabs, lobster, shrimp, clams and oysters.
The last type of foods to avoid eczema is the non-foods. These are your soft drinks, teas and coffees. They also include artificial sweeteners and colorings. As well as preservatives and additives. You also watch out for synthetic vitamins and minerals. When shopping stay away from flour that contains the word "enriched" because this means that it contains synthetic minerals and vitamins.
The best way to keep a handle on eczema symptoms and reactions is to start an elimination diet and log book. You will start by eating very basic and bland foods and then slowly adding the foods in this article back into your diet. One food at a time. Watch closely for any changes or symptoms and write down what you experience. Foods that cause reaction can be avoided and avoiding these foods could help prevent eczema symptoms from occurring.