Eczema is the itchy and inflamed rash that not only 1 in 5 children under the age of two years old currently have, but us adults suffer from, too.
So, what is it exactly? Well, eczema is a result of a faulty skin barrier (the protective, uppermost layer of the skin) allowing irritants – think certain chemicals and substances – to penetrate through the layers of the skin. The irritants don’t belong on the skin, so the body instantly triggers an immune response, releasing inflammation as well as an itchy chemical called histamine, hence, the intolerable itch!
Unfortunately, adult eczema doesn’t have a cure, which means there are many eczema sufferers itching (sorry) for answers on treating, preventing and managing the skin condition.
So, to sort the fact from the fiction we asked Australasian College of Dermatologists’ fellow Dr Karen Koh to answer the questions you have about adult eczema – from what foods to avoid, to how to treat it.