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How Eczema Starts

How Eczema Starts

Where eczema begins

How Eczema Starts

Effectively managing eczema is a unique journey; no one else can get it right the way you can. A good regime is built on prevention and treatment. Usually, we start from the point of care—soothing symptoms, dealing with itching, and pressing on with life as best as possible. But when dealing with eczema long-term, prevention becomes necessary to your overall strategy. Successful prevention means knowing what’s coming next.

Early Signs

The first signs of eczema are itching and redness. But it’s not just regular itching. Rather than a little tickle from a feather, eczema itching feels pervasive, and scratching doesn’t quite relieve it. At its worst, It’s been compared by sufferers to wearing the thickest, itchiest wool sweater, being covered by poison ivy, or being bit by multiple mosquitoes in the flared up area.

Acute Dermatitis

Acute dermatitis describes eczema that is a sudden onset, a sharp rise, or follows just a short course. Typical symptoms are redness or swelling, oozing and weeping (fluid leaving the damaged skin), and even blistering.

Chronic Dermatitis

If eczema becomes chronic and persistent on the body, skin thickening starts. Skin creases become accentuated, and there’s scaling and fissuring associated with the breakouts. Hyperpigmentation—skin darkening in patches on the body—might show up where flare-ups happened. This can appear as redness in fairer skin tones and and ashy-grey on darker skin tones.

Tracking Your Progress

Eczema doesn’t always follow patterns. Having early signs doesn’t mean it will eventually progress to chronic. And having signs of chronic eczema doesn’t mean it cannot become infrequent. What can be effective is tracking your progress and keeping a log of how things work. In a recent article, we discussed creating your own personal trigger list, to determine whether your eczema flare-ups are affected by allergens.

Addressing the skin condition early is more helpful than waiting until it becomes very serious. At early signs of itching, invest in skin-beneficial creams that will deeply moisturize your skin to support its healing. By rescuing the skin quickly, you can help it along with its natural healing process, and reduce exacerbations and complications.

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Coulson, I., Oakley, A., & Mitchell, G. (n.d.). Dermatitis: Types and treatments — DermNet. DermNet. Retrieved October 15, 2022, from

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