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MESSAGES TO
Eczema

Eczema

A DxD Session with National Skin Centre


Ended on Fri May 24 2019
Ended

Top Answers


Eczema is a very common skin condition in Singapore, but the underlying cause varies between individuals. Most commonly, there is a genetic predisposition to having dry skin.

When the skin is dry, it allows for tiny gaps (not visible to the naked eye) in the skin to develop. This results in loss of moisture from the skin to the environment (inside out) and entry of allergens (substances which promote allergy) and bacteria into the skin (outside in).

Someone who is prone to dry skin may develop more severe eczema due to reasons such as use of harsh soaps, lack of moisturizers, constant scratching, or use of creams or oils that irritate the skin. All these will cause more gaps to appear in the skin and hence worsens the situation.

To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

Dr Lucinda Tan, Consultant at National Skin Centre

10 Sep 2018

Please be rest assured that eczema is not contagious. You will not get eczema from being in contact with a person having eczema. However, most individuals with eczema have an underlying genetic predisposition.

Since both your children share similar genes, they may have genes which make them prone to developing allergies and dry skin, but show varying degrees of dryness and eczema between them.

To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

Dr Lucinda Tan, Consultant at National Skin Centre

10 Sep 2018

Yes and no. Eczema is defined as a chronic itchy inflammatory skin disease. There are many causes for eczema and it is labelled accordingly. For example, if it is due to an irritating environmental cause, it can be called contact eczema.

Atopy is a group of diseases including eczema, allergic rhinitis and asthma. We use the terms “atopic dermatitis” and “eczema” interchangeably as most eczema patients have a genetic predisposition for atopy or have eczema together with asthma and or allergic rhinitis.

To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

Dr Lucinda Tan, Consultant at National Skin Centre

10 Sep 2018

Hi Jian Hua, 

There are many causes for eczema, mostly due to a genetic predisposition. We consider food allergy causing skin rashes if the child has recently tried the food (usually during the weaning periods) and has demonstrated consistent skin rashes every time that particular food is introduced.

It is unusual to gain a food allergy if the child has been eating the same food for a long period of time without any skin or gut problems. Skin rashes due to food allergies tend to be severe, and occur with every single ingestion of the suspected food. It cannot only appear periodically, or if the suspected food is taken in great amounts (but not in small quantities).

It is best to consult a doctor regarding the possibility of food allergies as we can recommend food allergy tests if needed in your child. It is better to have a food allergy test for confirmation rather than self-restricting the diet of a growing child.

To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

Dr Lucinda Tan, Consultant at National Skin Centre

10 Sep 2018

Itch is an important part of eczema as we know scratching damages the skin, resulting in more gaps and allowing for bacteria to enter, leading to infections.

There are a few ways to help with itch symptoms:

1. Moisturize frequently and liberally

2. Wipe off sweat and then reapply moisturizers if possible

3. Cold short baths

4. Wet wraps - Apply moisturizers, and then wearing a first layer of tubifast / clothes (soaked in warm water and wringed dry) and a second layer of dry tubifast / clothes.

The wet first layer helps the moisturizer to penetrate better and the dry second layer keeps you from feeling too cold. Wet wraps are highly effective for management of eczema and itch.

The only downside of wet wraps is that they can be troublesome. I would advise applying wet wraps over a small area, for at least 30 mins daily for 2 weeks at the start to get used to the idea.

I often advise my patients to put on the wraps and distract themselves with another activity such as watching television, playing games, reading books or having a meal. This allows you to get used to the idea of regular wet wraps.

5. Oral antihistamines - It is generally safe to take and provides itch relieve, especially at night, allowing for a better night’s rest.

6. Use of topicals with anti-itch ingredients

To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

Dr Lucinda Tan, Consultant at National Skin Centre

10 Sep 2018

You should always find a doctor that you are comfortable asking questions and allowing him/her to examine your skin. You may consider recommendations by friends / family or a clinic’s track record before making an appointment.

To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

Dr Lucinda Tan, Consultant at National Skin Centre

10 Sep 2018

This is the one advice I give to all my patients: moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. As dry skin is the key driving force behind eczema, the main strategy for treating eczema would be to moisturize the skin regularly.

Use gentle cleansers and moisturizers to prevent skin dryness. Avoid cleansers and moisturizers with fragrances or harsh preservatives which can irritate the skin.

Moisturizers are generally divided into 2 broad categories:

  • Oil based moisturizers which are longer lasting and provide a barrier effect, allowing minimal water loss.
  • Moisturizers with varying ingredients that repair the skin barrier.

There is no one brand that works for everyone. It is best if you can try samples of the moisturizers before deciding which one to buy as they can be pricey. If your skin is very dry, you can consider a combination of moisturizers which provide a long lasting barrier effect and repair the skin barrier.

To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

Dr Lucinda Tan, Consultant at National Skin Centre

10 Sep 2018

This is a common question which many patients with childhood eczema ask. Usually, if the eczema is well controlled in childhood, with infrequent flares, there is a good chance of outgrowing eczema as the child gets older.

However, if the eczema was severe or poorly controlled, resulting in skin changes, it may be difficult to get rid of eczema completely in adulthood. However, we can still aim for good control with minimal flares.

To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

Dr Lucinda Tan, Consultant at National Skin Centre

10 Sep 2018

Top Questions


Aren’t eczema and psoriasis both itchy, auto-immune skin conditions? What’s the difference between the two?