Eczema in Singapore is a common problem with no end in sight. Chances are, one of your friends or family suffers from it. Eczema has been found to affect 21 per cent of children and 11 per cent of adults. That’s one-fifth of children and one-tenth of adults!
Here’s a quick background of eczema, for those unfamiliar. Eczema, also commonly referred to as dermatitis, is the inflammation of the skin. Even though eczema is commonly lumped together as one condition, there are actually many different types of eczema, including atopic eczema and contact eczema. Atopic eczema is the most common type that people refer to when talking about it.
Regardless of type, all types of eczema share several symptoms, such as dry, scaly skin, redness of the skin, and itching of the skin. But what causes it?
It’s not entirely clear what the main cause is, as there are many different reasons. It could even be a combination of several reasons:
- The environment around you
- Activities that may cause skin to be more sensitive
Eczema can flare up when the environment around you has things that cause an allergic reaction. Some more common causes include dust and several types of food. Sadly, warm or cold weather can also cause eczema to appear. That’s right, just living in sunny Singapore can trigger it. However, it is important to note that not all types of eczema are allergies, and research is still up in the air about the topic.
Some people lack a type of protein called filaggrin in their skin. Filaggrin is important for skin, as it protects the outer layer and keeps out the unwanted germs etc. Without this, skin is more prone to drying up, which weakens it and exposes it to various irritants and allergens.
Some people also have tiny gaps in the skin which allows easier access to the body by allergens. This causes the body to create chemicals which cause inflammation of the skin.
For those who are sensitive to these allergens, it is important to know what your allergy triggers are. The most convenient way to do so is to simply take a test.
In Singapore, you can take an allergy test at the National Skin Centre or private skin clinics. There are several options to choose from, such as a skin patch test, blood test or skin price test. Generally, the prices on the skin tests are lower, around $70 onwards at the National Skin Centre. This price is dependent on the number of tested allergens ordered and used by the doctor. The blood test starts from $200 at the National Skin Centre.
Additionally, the consultation fees need to be applied. At the National Skin Centre, it is around $97 to $140.
If you are a subsidised patient, the prices go down slightly to $60 onwards for the test, and a consultation fee of $36 to $54.
So who counts as a subsidised patient? Well, you have to be a Singaporean or PR, and must to have been referred to the National Skin Centre by doctors from subsidised clinics of a restructured hospital or polyclinic, or from an SAF medical officer/camp.
This may be a steep price to pay for a condition that you can’t control, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Do note that prices are subject to change without prior notice.
Eczema Treatment Singapore
Home Remedies For Eczema
Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties and helps kill bacteria. Just mix turmeric powder with water and clean the affected area gently.
Coconut oil is really versatile. Aside from cooking purposes, you can also use it to treat eczema. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and can soothe the itch and pain of eczema. Apply 2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil on the affected area and you’ll be good.
If you don’t have coconut oil, sunflower oil can do the trick, albeit through different means. Sunflower oil protects the outer layer of the skin, preventing any sneaky bacteria from coming in while keeping the moisture in. It can also hydrate your skin and relieve itching and inflammation. Just apply it to your skin right after bathing while it’s still damp.
With Singapore’s warm weather, applying cream or moisturiser seems like an attractive solution. Try these 3 eczema creams and moisturisers and get rid of that itchy skin.
Suu Balm Dual Rapid Itch Relieving & Restoring Moisturiser
This isn’t just any ordinary cream but was actually formulated by the National Skin Centre, so you can definitely trust it. Not only does it contain menthol for fast, cooling itch relief, but it’s designed with your comfort in mind. It restores your skin’s moisture along with being light and non-sticky. It works fast too, getting rid of itches in a matter of minutes.
Where to buy: Their website & leading pharmacies.
Curél Moisture Cream
This moisturiser is unique, as it contains Ceramide and Eucalyptus extract. These two ingredients moisturise and strengthen the skin to be resistant to irritants. This improves the barrier function of the skin, preventing more bacteria from seeping through the skin. Not just that, but the Eucalyptus extract also helps the skin produce even more Ceramide for better protection. It’s is so gentle, that the cream is touted as a cream that can “also be used on babies’ delicate skin”.
Where to buy: Online retailers & leading pharmacies.
Nummular Eczema Vs Ringworm
These 2 skin conditions both have several symptoms in common, including red, itchy rashes that are circular in shape. Thanks to this, the two are often mistaken for each other. However, one defining trait of ringworms is that the affected areas are always the same colour and don’t burn. Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection called tinea corporis and can be spread from person to person, so be careful! Everyone is at risk of ringworms. Ringworm can be caused by infected animals or gardening in soil that has the fungus. Going to public areas such as the gym or pool may also increase your chances of ringworm.
The best prevention strategy for ringworm is to take good care of your hygiene and avoid sharing personal items such as loofahs.
If you have ringworms, the best solution is to apply antifungal cream, but be sure to consult a doctor before buying any. An important thing to take note of is that if you have another condition, like nummular eczema, it won’t respond to antifungals. Here is one of the best antifungal creams in Singapore.
Where to buy: Canesten’s website and leading pharmacies
If you’re really interested in learning about skin conditions, you can even try for a National Skin Centre career path.
If you have a severe case of eczema, mere self-medication won’t quite cut it. Seeing an eczema specialist in Singapore is the best way to reduce the symptoms and itch of the condition. If you aren’t sure of the severity of your eczema, it might still be best to visit a specialist. Here is one of the best dermatologist clinics in Singapore for eczema.
Not only do they have eczema treatments, but they also have numerous articles on the topic that can be found on their website. They have also been featured in publications such as HerWorld and on Channel News Asia. However, be warned that advanced booking is required for an appointment.
We have contacted the clinic to gain a few insights as to how they treat it. Multi-CERAM, a ceramide-based moisturiser which focuses on restoring the skin barrier, is usually prescribed. It is a ceramide-based moisturiser which focuses on restoring the skin barrier. Intense moisturising with ceramide is usually recommended during the treatment to do so.
“Importantly, corticosteroids and antibiotics are also prescribed in eczema treatments to reduce inflammation symptoms experienced by eczema patients, and the course of treatment with such medications should be cautiously managed by an accredited medical professional due to potential side effects especially with steroids,” TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre stated in an e-mail.
“In cases of more severe eczema, wet-wrap therapy, which enhances absorption of topical medications by the skin, may be employed over the topicals and moisturiser applied on to the skin as part of treatment,” they stated in the same e-mail.
At the clinic, a first-time consultation fee costs $150 while subsequent consultations cost $120. (Do note that these prices are before GST is included.)
Location: Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, 38 Irrawaddy Road, Suite 07-28 Singapore 329563
Contact: +65 6355 0522
By Muhd Farhan