What is it?

Eczema is a condition that affects the skin, causing itching, reddening, scaling and dryness6. Severe cases may cause blistering and crusting6. There are multiple different types of eczema including atopic, contact, seborrhoeic, discoid, gravitational, asteatotic and pompholyx6. Eczema isn’t contagious and can’t be transmitted to another person6.


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 UK12. Atopic eczema is believed to have a hereditary component, in most instances, there will be a family history of either eczema or another condition such as hayfever or asthma6. Some people will have the condition on and off for their entire life, but many children grow out of it before secondary school age17.

What causes eczema?

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 18.


How to manage eczema?

Experts agree that a programme of total emollient therapy is one of the best ways to help relieve discomfort caused by eczema19.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 or QV Bath Oil and apply a moisturiser such as QV Cream or QV Skin Lotion immediately afterwards. For flare-ups, when skin is particularly red and sore, use QV Intensive Ointment. This is ideal for leaving on skin overnight, especially when wet-wrapping children (putting emollients on under bandages or nightclothes)20. If the flare up is particularly painful or if you are unsure whether the skin is infected, wet-wrapping is not suitable, you should talk to your healthcare professional for a management solution.

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