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Eczema: Just The Facts

Eczema is a common skin problem

It causes the skin to become red, irritated and itchy. Patches of eczema can appear on the backs of knees, ankles, elbows, hands, face and neck although any part of the body can be affected.

Eczema varies from person to person; some people may have small patches whereas others may be covered with eczema. In severe cases the skin may appear “raw”, bleed or weep. It is a long term condition which needs managing. It is not contagious.

The best way to manage eczema is to moisturise – a lot. You can get special moisturisers and when your eczema gets really bad, you might get a course of steroid cream to apply.

What causes eczema?

There are lots of things that cause eczema- it might be down to your genes, the way your immune system works, or sensitivity to things in the environment that make your skin very dry.

Eczema and Sport

Eczema shouldn’t interfere with any sports you want to do. Yes, sweating can irritate eczema, but you can reduce this by wearing loose cotton clothing and exercising in cool weather. When it’s hot, make sure you take regular breaks and drink plenty of water.

It’s best to avoid swimming though if you’re having an eczema flare-up. If you do swim, always use cream before getting into the water, shower afterwards and then reapply.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

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