What is it?
Eczema is a condition that affects the skin, causing itching, redness, scaling and dryness(6). There are multiple different types of eczema including atopic, contact and seborrhoeic. Eczema isn’t contagious and can’t be transmitted to another person (6).
Who gets eczema?
The most common type of eczema is atopic eczema (or atopic dermatitis), which affects around 1 in 12 adults and 1 in 5 children in the UK(12). Atopic eczema is believed to have a hereditary component; in most instances, there will be a family history of either eczema or allergic conditions such as hayfever or asthma(6). Some people will have the condition on and off for their entire life, but children may grow out of it before secondary school age(17).
Nobody really knows the exact cause of eczema, but most types are believed to be a combination of genetic factors and certain triggers. Many sufferers are aware of certain triggers that seem to cause flare-ups. These can include anything from eating certain foods, getting stressed, or exposure to animals, dust or heat. Certain soaps and detergents can also be a catalyst for the itch-scratch cycle .
Experts agree that a programme utilising daily emollient use should always be used for children with atopic eczema (19). This means applying moisturising creams like QV every day as part of your daily routine. Always wash your face, hands and body with a hydrating cleanser such as QV Gentle Wash and apply a moisturiser such as QV Cream or QV Skin Lotion immediately afterwards. When skin is particularly sore, a water-free, and thus sting-free, product such as QV Intensive Ointment should be used. This can be left on skin overnight, especially when wet-wrapping children (putting emollients on under bandages or nightclothes)(20). If eczema flares up and becomes painful or if you are unsure whether the skin is infected, wet-wrapping is not suitable and you should talk to your healthcare professional for a management solution.
Itch is a common symptom associated with a wide range of skin conditions, but usually goes hand in hand with dry skin and dry skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis.