We often get a little skin rash or our skin feels tight and itchy, but is it a case of Eczema or something else? Do you even know what Eczema is? Most people do not unless they are affected or know someone who is. It is not psoriasis. And again, if you do not have psoriasis, you would not know what that means either.
There are many different things that can cause itchy skin: bug bites, dry air, or contact with a poisonous plant, to name a few. But that is not Eczema and usually clears up within a few days without treatment, maybe sooner with soothing lotions and creams.
Symptoms of Eczema
The first sign of Eczema is itchy skin. The affected area then develops into a rash. The most common areas for Eczema to appear are on the face, knees, hands or feet, but can occur on other parts of the body as well. In most cases, this is where it stops. You have a bad rash that will just not go away. But it will go away with proper treatment. More severe Eczema can turn into very dry and thick, or scaly skin. Fair skinned people could see a more reddish appearance at first which will then turn to brown. Darker skinned people can see lighter patches on their skin or, in some cases, darker patches.
There are so many different types of skin abnormalities that only a doctor can diagnose what your condition could be. But there are also many ways to determine for yourself if it is Eczema, psoriasis, or something else and if you should consult a doctor. For example:
- You have itchy skin: Is there any indication of a bug bite? In this case you will see a small puncture hole in the itchy area. Unless you have already scratched. Scratching spreads the infection and makes the puncture almost impossible to see, that is why it is extremely important to never scratch an itch! Have you been in contact with poison ivy, or poison oak? If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, then there might be something else going on.
- Do you have a skin rash: Many things can cause a skin rash. Allergies are the number one cause. Poison ivy and poison oak are allergies. Your body is rejecting the poison and that is why a rash breaks out. Too much sun exposure can also cause a skin rash. Or, there may be a variety of other things you come into contact with that can cause an allergic reaction.
Eczema is not fatal, it is just annoying and may be embarrassing. Just remember, it is not your fault. You did not do anything to cause this. There are ‘experts’ that will try to tell you this is caused by eating too much potato chips, drinking too much soda pop, etc. But the truth is, Eczema, just like most other skin disorders, is hereditary. It is treatable with petroleum jelly, baby oil and other soothing lotions. You can also take a hot bath in salt water that will do wonders!