Guide to Eczema: Causes & Treatments

May 29, 2019



Feeling itchy?




If it’s your first experience with this condition or you’ve been battling it for a period of time, do not lose hope!


This guide will give you answers and introduce some treatments you may consider for future alleviation.




Eczema can appear in the form of an itchy, red patch on any part of the face or body, be it babies or adults.



Areas such as inner elbows, behind the knees, necks or even the cheeks are commonly irritated by eczema flare-ups.


You may have seen a doctor to seek help for your dry, itchy skin or self-prescribed with drug store topical creams after consulting Google.


So what exactly is eczema and how does it come about? What should you do now that you’re diagnosed?



First things first, you’re not alone.



According to studies carried out by a team of medical students from National University of Singapore (NUS), 11% of the adults in Singapore and 21% of the children suffer from eczema. The most common trigger factors are hot weather, dusty environment and physical exercise.


Eczema can range from mild, moderate to severe. In most cases, it is very manageable. In fact, some adults develop eczema despite never experiencing it as a child.


In this article, we tackle commonly asked questions on eczema and measures one can improve the condition.



What are some symptoms of eczema?

  • Red, inflamed patches of skin
  • Uncontrollable itching
  • Sensitive skin that is dry to touch
  • Rough, leathery patches
  • Crusty skin with pus
  • Leathery and rough skin
  • Uneven dark patches


The most common symptom is itchiness. Whether mild or moderate, some itch can last through the day and get amplified in the night. Some people develop extremely inflamed skin which causes them to scratch. This only aggravates the eczema and worsens the condition.


You may have most of these symptoms or just a few. The only way to understand your condition is to get a diagnosis from a certified doctor. Do note that the symptoms may vary in different individuals. While it may not look the same on you, as it is on another adult or child, the areas eczema appears on are also not the same.


Taking care of eczema 


Sometimes eczema can get triggered because of a certain substance. Avoiding that substance or tweaking your skincare steps slightly can easily improve skin condition.


Weather, clothing material, detergent, skin product and food are some of the factors that can trigger an eczema flare.



Avoid fragrances and preservatives


It can be a challenge to avoid fragrances and preservatives and to tackle long ingredient lists.


However, our doctors at Healthsprings will be more than happy to recommend you products that are compatible with eczema-prone skin. Moisturizer and cosmetic brands that are fragrance-free or low-preservative. These are normally indicated on the packaging.


Avoid long, hot showers


Triggers like hot and cold temperature or hot showers may play a major role in aggravating eczema. If you bathe daily, it is recommend to take short, lukewarm showers or bath. This prevents the loss of the skin’s natural barrier or stripping the skin of its natural oil.


Wear clothes made of cotton 


Rough textures in fabrics or pigments in dyed fabric may cause irritation and worsen eczema. We recommend dye-free or light-coloured fabric and wearing lighter fabric like cotton or silk.


Monitor the humidity


Cold, dry air may cause the skin to dry out and hence more vulnerable to irritation. Making temperature changes in your office or home can help control eczema and dermatitis symptoms. You may also consider adding a humidifier in an air-conditioned room to help the skin retain moisture.


Stay in air-conditioned room


Singapore tends to be hot and humid. Sweat can make the skin itch and be a breeding ground for bacteria. This can cause infection and worsen eczema. To prevent rashes, using an air conditioner will keep the air cool and dry.


Keep your skin moisturised


Eczema results in rough, scaly and dry skin. Applying generous amount of moisturizer right after showering helps to seal in some of the water your skin absorbs and strengthens the skin’s barriers against external irritants.




Treatment Plan at Healthsprings

Doctors at Healthsprings have the experience to diagnose eczema during a physical examination. Depending on whether an allergen plays a role, a non-invasive allergy test may be conducted.


After the diagnosis, our doctors will proceed to create an individualized treatment plan based on the patient’s age, rash location and severity of symptoms.


Medication, light therapy and clinical-grade creams are amongst some of the treatments used to alleviate eczema.


Need further help with your eczema? Fill up an enquiry form and we’ll contact you within 48 hours!


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