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    Eczema, or Atopic Dermatitis, is a chronic, itchy skin disease that usually appears on the inside of the elbows and knees and on the face and the wrists. Infants are the most common sufferers of eczema, and most will be free of the disease by the time they're eighteen months old. But children, as well as adults, can develop it at any age. Eczema is an allergic disease; it's more common in people who have other allergies, particularly asthma and hay fever. The best approach for controlling eczema is similar to that of controlling other allergies. The first step is to try to identify allergenic foods.

    Some people will dramatically improve when they eliminate allergenic foods from their diets. Some allergenic foods are eggs, milk, dairy products, chocolate, peanut, soy, potatoes, and the glutens found in wheat, oats, rye, and barley. An allergen-free diet should be followed for 4-6 weeks in order to allow improvement.

    In infants, cow's milk is the most common allergen, so it's important to breast-feed babies as long as possible. In addition, if the parents of a child are allergic to certain foods, the baby may carry that allergy as well and those foods should be avoided. It's not uncommon for babies with eczema to develop chronic ear infections. You should also eat fatty fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel at least twice a week.

    It has also been found that the food additive tartrazine can provoke eczema in some people, although the reaction is not common. Tartrazine, or FD&C Yellow Dyne No. 5, is found in many foods. There is a great deal of evidence that people with eczema have a problem with their digestion of essential fatty acids. Over half of eczema suffers improve when they take evening primrose oil - as a supplement as well as topically.

    Evening primrose oil can relieve the symptoms of eczema and help to normalize the digestion of essential fatty acids. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids are extremely useful in controlling this condition. Vitamin A is very important to the health of the skin and can be very useful in the treatment of eczema. Zinc is especially helpful for people with eczema. Many eczema sufferers have been found to be deficient in zinc and, in fact, zinc is an important mineral in the fatty acid metabolism.

    In addition to supplements, there are some practical measures that you can take to relieve the symptoms of eczema: - Do not use hot water for bathing or showering. Use warm water. - Use bath oil to soften skin. Use a nondrying soap substitute instead of soap. - Do not use over-the-counter ointments that contain benzocaine or antibiotics. - Avoid lanolin in skin lotions, cosmetics, cleansers, and the like.

    - Try to avoid temperature extremes and any activity that will involve excessive sweating. - Aerobic exercise is beneficial to eczema and other skin ailments. Just be sure to take a warm shower after exercise to wash away sweat.

    - Avoid any oily or greasy ointment that prevents skin from breathing. - Try to wear cotton and other natural fibers next to your skin wit the exception of wool, which you should avoid. - As stress can exacerbate eczema, practice stress reduction techniques.

    John Russell of IH Distribution, LLC brings you health, anti-aging and skin care products from around the world. Find fabulous skin care tips and great articles on a wide range of topics for women at our Skin Care Blog and http://www.hormones-beauty-health.com

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