What exactly is skin asthma? Most people have probably never heard of this term. It is most commonly known as eczema, which is a form of atopic dermatitis. Skin asthma is chronic and usually affects those who already have asthma. This skin condition is characterized by very dry, flaky skin that often itches intensely. There are many ways to identify and treat skin asthma and most of these are detailed below.
While skin asthma usually affects your joints, or the areas around your knees or elbows, it can also appear near the scalp or on the hands or feet. It usually shows up on both sides at the same time; in other words, you will get it on both elbows at the same time. How severe it is usually depends on how many irritants you are exposed to. These can include changes in weather, detergents, pollution, mold, and smoke.
Keep Skin Asthma Under Control
When eczema (skin asthma) shows up, the best thing to do is to prevent it from getting worse. The best way to do this is by moisturizing the skin at least three times a day with a skin cream made for extremely dry skin. A petroleum-based product is good, because it puts a protective layer between your skin and outside irritants. The other thing that can help prevent eczema from getting worse is to eat foods that boost the immune system, because all forms of asthma are auto-immune disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids and all the B-complex vitamins are known to help immune system function, so try to add foods that contain these or a daily multi-vitamin. Exercise can also help boost your immune system. Walking ten or fifteen minutes a day is all it takes to start getting in shape and changing the way your immune system fights your eczema.
Here are some tips to help the chronic eczema or skin asthma sufferer:
- If you itch while asleep, try wearing soft gloves or mittens on your hands at night.
- Try not to scratch or itch your eczema spots, as this will only worsen the irritation and in the process prolong recovery and healing time. An antihistamine can help with the urge to scratch your skin asthma. If you can manage to not itch your skin, the healing time could easily be cut in half.
- Stress makes eczema worse. Work on relaxation techniques and meditation. There are numerous herbal teas that help with this as well.
- Don’t get frustrated with your skin asthma or eczema. With a little effort and treatment you should easily be able to get it under control.
Even though skin asthma is a chronic condition with no cure, it can be effectively managed with the correct treatment plan. If you go to see your doctor he or she will probably give you a prescription-strength topical cream containing the steroid cortisone. If you are afraid of the long-term side effects of steroids, such as thinning of the skin, ask your doctor for a non-steroid ointment or other treatment. If you suffer from frequent outbreaks, you might want to think about ultraviolet light therapy, which has recently shown to be a very effective treatment. Eczema can be annoying and frustratin, but there is definitely a good skin asthma treatment out there that will help you.