Whenever we hear or read the word “asthma”, we right away conclude that one is suffering from a respiratory condition in which it is marked by constriction in the bronchi of the lungs. Thus, causes one person difficulty in breathing.
But skin asthma is different. It is a type of skin inflammation which is also called as atopic dermatitis or eczema. This is a condition that makes your skin red and very itchy. It is called skin asthma because from atopic dermatitis in infants it can develop into asthma that is related to the respiratory condition or hay fever and allergic rhinitis in children. This progression is called as atopic march. Atopic dermatitis may persist for several years while on some may resolve with increasing age.
Atopy is defined as a personal or familial propensity to produce IgE antibodies and sensitization in response to environmental triggers such as dust, pollen or house mites.
The hygiene hypothesis
Aside from the familial predisposition, one factor that contributes to this condition is the so-called hygiene hypothesis. This states that a ack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents increases susceptibility to allergic diseases by suppressing the natural development of the immune system. That is why we sometimes wonder what those who are living in unsanitary area don’t develop some diseases.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms may vary from person to person and this includes severe itchiness and it may worsen at night. It is thickened, cracked dry, scaly skin and red to brown patches on the flexor areas. It can be seen on the hands, ankles, wrists, neck or eyelids and even armpits. Some can be small raised bumps and reddish. It can also bubble up, then ooze and weep fluid on your hands.
What to do and what not to do?
Do not rub it! Even though it is very itchy because it will only worsen the situation. It can spread to the other parts of your body. Place an ice cold pack on the itchy areas to prevent your from scratching. And be sure to cut your nails short.
Do not pour an isopropyl alcohol to ease the itchiness! It is considered as an irritant to the skin and it will make your skin dry which makes it prone to invasion of bacteria. Use steroid creams which can be bought over the counter.
Keep hydrated. Hydration is one key in alleviating atopic dermatitis. Because a part of the problemtof AD is that it loses the barrier function on your skin. This will keep your skin moist.
Avoid house mites. These are one of the factors that triggers AD. You can find this in your carpet, pillows, blankets and towels. So make it a habit to clean these every two weeks and it is important to place your pillows under the sun once in awhile.
Wear cotton clothing. This is recommended because it is smooth and it will let your skin breath so it can keep cool. Remember, sweat can also trigger eczema. And do not wear clothes that were not used for how many months already. Dusts and house mites may have accumulated on those.
Avoid allergy-causing food. such as egg, peanuts, dried fish, chicken or any thing that is allergic to your system.
Develop a good skin care routine. It can be simple like taking a bath daily, wash your face and body before you sleep. Apply non-scented lotion. Avoid using scrubs or a loofah daily.
When AD hasn’t resolve after trying to alleviate the symptoms and it has already persisted for more than a week or two weeks, it is better to see a doctor. 🙂