Skin asthma or eczema, medically termed as ‘atopic dermatitis’, is a genetic, non-contagious, and chronic skin disorder in which the skin becomes inflamed due to hypersensitivity caused by an ‘inherited barrier defect’. In this post, we are going to talk about its causes, symptoms, and natural at-home treatments. Keep reading:
About Skin Asthma
Skin asthma causes redness, rashes, and itchiness, which make the condition even worse as the person feels tempted to scratch the skin and end up complicating the situation to a large extent. Usually, there are three stages of skin asthma: the ‘Infant Stage’ (up to 2 years), the ‘Childhood Stage’ (from 2 years to puberty), and the ‘Adult Stage’ (after puberty). Each of these stages is characterized by their own symptoms, but mostly face, limbs, and trunk are affected. The condition is more common in women and girls than men and boys.
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Causes Of Skin Asthma
As mentioned before, skin asthma is a genetic disorder that is primarily caused by the ‘inherited barrier defect’. It is an imperfection of the protective barrier of our skin (resulted from the mutation of genes), which affects the covering factor by making the skin more permeable and reducing its antimicrobial property. Consequently, the natural moisture of the skin is lost, the lipid organization is disrupted, and the surface of the skin turns flat. This also reduces the pH of the skin leaving it more acidic as well as promotes the digestion of epidermal proteins and lipids by activating certain enzymes. The inflammation in skin asthma becomes even more severe due to increased cytokine (a chemical messenger) production, which leads to extreme water loss and easy penetration of irritants.
While this is the main reason behind the relapsing condition, there are also some triggers that make the skin more irritated and swelled. These include:
- Chemical irritants (soaps, detergents, hair dyes, perfumes, cosmetics, etc.)
- Inhalant / air-borne allergens (pollen, dust, sand, mold, dust mites, pet dander, etc.)
- Certain foods (egg, chicken, shrimp, chocolate, peanut, etc.)
- Wool / synthetic fibers
- Moisture loss in skin
- Extreme changes in temperature (too hot / too cold)
- Exposure to cold, dry air
- Emotional stress
- Flu / cold
- Extreme perspiration
- Cigarette smoke
Also Read – 10 Most Effective Home Remedies for Eczema Scars Here
Symptoms Of Skin Asthma
Though the symptoms of skin asthma vary from one stage to another, it primarily grows as red, flaky, itchy rashes and turns into scaly, leathery patches gradually. Other symptoms include extreme dryness and itching, flakiness, redness, crusting, swelling, discoloration, cracks, white bumps, blisters, bulky / thickened skin, fluid leakage from certain spots on skin, discharge from ears, and so forth.
Natural At-Home Treatments For Skin Asthma
Skin asthma can be diagnosed through a detailed examination including family history, personal history, and skin analysis (skin biopsy, allergy epidermis test, etc.). Based on the reports, topical treatments can be recommended by doctors. However, there are some awesome natural at-home treatments to keep your flare-ups under control or remove them completely. Here we go:
- Consume foods that are rich in natural anti-inflammatory qualities, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, flavonoids, and zinc. These include leafy green vegetables, dark berries, citrus fruits, coldwater fish, spinach, nuts, seeds, etc. Taking multivitamin supplements will also help in fortifying your immune system. Also, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Prepare an oolong tea concoction and drink it twice every day. This is quite effective in diminishing the symptoms of skin asthma.
- Keeping stress at bay is vital and exercising can help you a lot in doing this effectively. Practice cardio, Pilates, yoga, pranayama, tai chi, etc. every day to reduce stress levels and improve immunity.
- Intensive moisturization is the key to a successful skin asthma treatment. Apply a good moisturizer with deep-hydrating qualities to your cleansed skin at least thrice every day. You can use natural herbal (or organic) moisturizing creams, lotions, OTC ointments, or even petroleum jelly, which contain zero fragrance with little to no chemicals.
Also Read – The Must-Know Skin Care Tips For Rosacea Here
- Applying vitamin E oil (or the content of vitamin E capsules) to the troubled areas of the skin can aid in reducing irritation and inflammation.
- If you can avail fresh leaves of the blueberry tree, take a handful of it and make a smooth paste. Rub it gently to the inflamed area to get relief from itching.
- Try to identify the triggers that affect your skin and avoid them under all circumstances. It includes foods, chemicals, skin care products, makeup items and other similar things that make your skin hypersensitive.
- Make sure that the beauty products you are purchasing are hypoallergenic. Also, switch to mild fragrant-free soaps, body washes, and detergents from the harsh and chemical-laden ones.
- Keep your skin clean and hydrated by adding colloidal oatmeal (or baking soda) to your bath water. You can also make a homemade herbal body wash by boiling white oat bark, slippery elm bark, and comfrey root in filtered water for 30 minutes.
- No matter how strong your urge is to scratch the affected parts of the skin, keep it under control at any cost. Rather, use cold compresses, OTC topical anti-itch cream or oral antihistamines to reduce itching. Also, keep your nails as short as possible.
- Try to stay in a well-humidified place to avoid temperature extremities.
- Limit your contact with water as it may aggravate the condition.
- Avoid places full of dirt and dust.
- Never ever smoke.
However, make sure that you consult your doctor when the flare-ups become severe.