If you have the condition you likely know all about it. But if not, it looks a little like this.
Skin becomes red, dry, itchy and scaly, and in severe cases, may weep, bleed and crust over, causing significant discomfort. Sometimes the skin may become infected. The condition can also flare and subside for no apparent reason.
Although eczema affects all ages, it usually appears in early childhood (in babies between two-to-six months of age) and disappears around six years of age, says the Eczema Association.
In fact, more than half of all eczema sufferers show signs within their first 12 months of life and 20 per cent of people develop eczema before the age of five.
May 13 through to May 19 is Eczema Awareness Week making it the perfect time to look at the condition and how to manage it best.
Here, a handful of top tips. Check these out and also, visit with your GP who will refer you onto a skin specialist if he thinks it necessary. And try not to despair. While eczema can not be cured, it can be managed and well.
Caroline Robertson, naturopath at Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market, suggests doing the following:
Watch your diet: Reduce or avoid sugar and yeast, instead opt for oily fish, vitamin A and E rich foods and omega-3 rich foods like flaxseeds and walnuts. It can also help if you keep a food diary to track when flareups occur.
Try supplements: Take skin strengthening vitamin B supplements. It can also help if omega fatty acids, hemp oil and fish oils are increased. Probiotics with the lactobacillus rhamnosus strain, are also great.
Avoid irritants: Harsh soaps, foaming agents, fragrances and preservatives in skincare or washing detergents are best avoided.
Turn the heat down: Reduce the heat of the shower, as it strips natural oils from the skin and further irritates it. Instead, bath in lukewarm water and add Himalayan rock salt
Keep skin moist: Apply fragrance-free products straight after bathing that include calming ingredients such as shea butter, calendula, lavender, oatmeal and liquorice
Look at your gut health: Often any issues occurring in the gut can reflect itself in our skin, so following on from the above, you can also look to increase your gut friendly foods such as nourishing bone broth & probiotics.