Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eczema Skin Condition

This blog was created to basically be a place for me to post my findings on the eczema skin condition. For those of you who have read any of my previous posts, you know that I have been attempting to collect and post information regarding eczema, including the different types of symptoms, treatment options, and a description of my personal experience as well, since I have also dealt with this skin problem. One of the things that has been a reoccurring theme through the different posts I’ve done (although I can’t say it was fully an intentional thing) is the part that stress plays in the development of eczema, and how stress can literally exacerbate the eczema skin condition, although I’m basing this information more on my personal experience; I haven’t been able to find a whole lot of detailed, concrete, scientific data to back this position. I don’t feel too bad about it, though, because most of the info that I have read online pretty much says (in one way or another) that the causes of eczema are enigmatic at best. There seems to be several possible causes on the roster; one of them being adverse reactions to certain allergens. Eczema has often been mentioned in the same family with hay fever and asthma, primarily because these are inflammatory-type conditions that are triggered by an autoimmune response. I have noticed in my own life that when I would eat certain foods, such as nuts or soy products, it would seem to aggravate the eczema. I was trying to go the vegetarian route for a long time, and so I started buying all of the veggie burgers and soy burgers, which, by the way, I think are probably worse for you than just regular old red meat. Just look at the ingredient list for the average soy-based or veggie-based burger…a whole lot of artificial ingredients and preservatives with 20-syllable names…I doubt that’s any better for you than just eating a good old-fashioned steak. I know that there are probably some people that disagree with that statement, but hey, I’m just calling it how I see it. I know personally that while I was eating those products, I never felt fully “healthy”, but once I got back on regular beef and turkey, my energy level was boosted and I just felt more “solid” as a person. With all the veggie products I was losing weight rapidly to the point of being unhealthy, and it was just simply hard to keep weight on (for my body type anyway) without getting some real meat up in the mix. But anyway, back to the point…when I would eat those soy-based products especially, it would really begin to aggravate the eczema; I feel to this day that there were some type of ingredients in those foods that may have triggered an adverse response in my skin. One thing I believe I’ve learned over time is that when it comes to foods that benefit your skin and all otherwise, the more natural they are the better. The closer they are to how they exist in nature, the better. That’s why if you do eat beef, it’s important to eat Angus meat, or the other types of meat where the cows are not pumped with growth hormones and other chemicals to help in mass slaughter and mass-production. Whenever you can eat free-range chicken and other things like that, it helps tremendously, because the closer it is to how God originally created it, the better. (For the atheists out there, hope that doesn’t offend.)

So anyway, as far as the eczema skin condition goes (sorry for the long tangent), the primary classification of eczema is atopic dermatitis, which is a type of allergic disease, and as I mentioned earlier it falls loosely in the same category with other conditions that have inflammatory-type symptoms such as asthma and hay fever. The skin rashes produced by this type of eczema are reddish in color, and normally appear in “flexural” areas of the body such as the inside of the knees and elbows, and also on the buttocks near where the buttocks meets the upper leg (it’s really hard to tell where one ends and the other begins—LOL). Since I started studying these things, I realized that my type of condition was probably the most similar to atopic eczema, which is somewhat of the “plain vanilla” or “garden variety” eczema. There are other types of eczema that vary in their scope and severity, such as xerotic eczema, contact dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema, which we covered in a previous post. Although I initially created this post to be a general explanation of the eczema skin condition, I am excited about delving into some of the finer details of these different skin problems, now that I’m on my research kick. More to come soon.

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