Eczema is a form of dermatitis, a skin irritation characterized by red, flaky skin, sometimes with cracks or tiny blisters. It is extremely itchy and in some cases the affected areas of the skin can split and ooze clear fluid. The severity of eczema may vary from person to person.
Types of Eczema
- Contact eczema is a localized reaction and manifests as redness, itching, and burning where the skin has come into contact with an allergen or irritant.
- Allergic contact eczema is a type of eczema with red, itchy reaction where the skin has come into contact with a substance that the immune system recognizes as foreign. This can be caused by poison ivy or certain preservatives in creams and lotions.
- Seborrheic eczema refers to a form of skin inflammation of unknown cause that appears as yellowish, oily, scaly patches of skin on the scalp, face, and occasionally other parts of the body.
- Nummular eczema refers to a type of coin-shaped patches of irritated skin-most commonly on the arms, back, buttocks, and lower legs-that may be crusted, scaling, and extremely itchy.
- Dyshidrotic eczema appears as irritation of the skin on the palms of hands and soles of the feet characterized by clear, deep blisters that itch and burn.
There are various options for treating eczema though it can be completely cured. Antihistamines and topical immuno-suppressants help clear the affected area. Oral antibiotics may be used for skin infections that arise at the site of an eczema flare-up.
Topical steroids: The type and potency of topical steroid creams is prescribed on the age of the patient and severity of the condition. A thin layer of such creams is applied to affected parts of the skin.
Emollients: They reduce water loss from the skin and reduce dryness. Creams, ointments, lotions and bath oils help in re hydrating dry and cracked areas.
Oral steroids: Oral steroids are generally reserved for eczema that is resistant to all other treatments because this class of drugs is much more likely to cause side effects.
Phototherapy: UV A and B light therapy controls cells in the skin and thereby reduces scaling and sloughing of skin.
Inositol is part of the Vitamin B group. Our body manufactures Inositol from glucose. Next to niacin, in terms of quantities, human body contains more inositol, specifically in the spinal cord nerves, the brain and the cerebral spinal fluid. Inositol is a fundamental ingredient of cell membranes. It is necessary for proper functioning of nerves, brain and muscles in the body. Inositol is essential for growth and survival of cells in bone marrow, eye tissues and the intestines. It enables hair growth and helps prevent baldness. Inositol prevents collection of fats in the liver.
Role of Inositol
- Plays a vital role in chemical reactions which are associated with the production of glucose.
- Facilitates normal functioning of the body (side effects result when the levels are low).
- Aids in efficient processing and conversion of nutrients into energy.
- Nourishes the brain.
Our body makes enough Inositol to function normally. Deficiency of Inositol in healthy individuals is a rare occurrence. Caffeine (exceeding 2 cups per day) can lower Inositol levels and lead to Inositol deficiency. Inositol deficiency symptoms include eczema, gastritis, hypertension, fatty infiltration in the liver, and hardening of the liver and patchy baldness. In such cases, Inositol supplement is recommended by the healthcare provider. Diabetic people may experience an increased excretion of Inositol and can make up by taking Inositol supplement in the form of powder or capsules.
Doses of Inositol are prescribed by health care providers for people suffering from medical conditions or disorders such as PCOS, high cholesterol, schizophrenia, ADHD, insomnia and depression. Because of its beneficial effects, Inositol is used in the treatment of bipolar mood disorder, Alzheimer's disease, binge eating disorders and retinopathy of prematurity. Inositol can improve nerve function in diabetics. In some cases, Inositol has helped in reversing the nerve damage. It helps reduce the pain and numbness due to nerve deterioration. Also, Inositol can improve the sensitivity of insulin in the human body, which is highly beneficial to control diabetes. Inositol is given to premature babies with respiratory distress.
Other Inositol benefits
- Aids in the breakdown of fats
- Helps in the reduction of bad cholesterol.
- Has a calming effect on the central nervous system.
- Useful in treating eczema.
- Helpful in treating constipation.
- Maintains hormone balance by controlling estrogen levels in the body.
Side effects of Inositol
Synthetically manufactured Inositol is available in the form of tablets, capsules and powder. Pregnant women should not take Inositol as it may result in contractions. Possible side effects include tiredness, dizziness, hives, itching, wheezing, skin rash and swelling of mouth and throat. Deficiency of magnesium and potassium, high blood pressure are other side effects to look out for.
Pruritus is a skin disease associated with conditions pertaining to autoimmune disorders and other advanced complications like liver cirrhosis. Pruritus cases vary from mild to complex as the symptoms associated with the condition generally aggravate with age. Untreated pruritus can be a big hindrance to an individual's normal life as it interferes with sleep patterns leading to irritability and stress. In some cases the causative agent for this disease is the Hepatitis C virus which accounts in 20% of the population.
Pruritus occurs mostly in the wrist and ankles as a scratch. The intensity of the itch facilitates other factors such as eczema, impetigo and induced urticaria. The immune response releases histamines causing allergic reactions. The association of pruritus with allergic reactions is identified by the presence of serotonin. The serotonin release caused because of pruritus occurs in case of preexisting medical conditions such as polycythemia, lymphoma and cholestasis.
The identification and diagnosis of pruritus is closely associated with the evaluation of dermatological condition of the patient. Progressive pruritus is noticed with contact dermatitis, urticaria, scabies, pediculous infections of the genital region, folliculitis and xerotic eczema.The factors associated with the respective causes along with pruritus are fomites, dust, bites, chemicals and photosensitivity. Atopic dermatitis induces aggressive form of pruritus. The intense forms of atopic dermatitis associated pruritus usually occur in pregnant women, infants and veterans. Systemic causes of pruritus involve preexisting conditions such as Hodgkin's lymphoma, HIV, scleroderma, multiple myeloma, chronic renal failure and many other conditions.
Pruritus diagnosis involves meticulous procedures in examining the exact history of the patient to rule out other forms of allergic reactions. The information pertaining to the patient history includes several factors such as travel zones, food and occupation. Differentiation of non-septic and septic forms is done to identify systemic involvement of the disease. Secondary infections and malignancies associated have to be identified. Specific sites are identified on the skin reaction to respective drug therapy is carefully monitored.
Avoid stress which delays the healing process. Topical creams are prescribed for allergic forms of pruritus. Skin cleansing is an important step. It is predominantly done to prevent secondary infections and conditions such as psoriasis. Patients who have history of sunburn and sensitivity to extreme temperatures need to relieve the stress upon immune system that reacts immediately to such conditions. Hydration of the skin helps in the restoration of the skin cells to facilitate the process of healing. Change of diet and lifestyle is prescribed to patients who are sensitive foods such as nuts, seafood etc. Patients with a history of contact dermatitis are advised to use skin safe deodorants, shampoos and bubble bath solutions. Oral antihistamines are recommended to ease the immune system's reactivity. Hot water bath and tight clothing are to be avoided in case of pruritus as it may aggravate the condition. Topical creams containing corticosteroids are recommended during the onset of a pruritic reaction. In case of secondary infections associated with pruritus, antibiotics are given.