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Home :: Skin Disorders

Eczema - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 

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Eczema is an allergic condition that affects the skin. Eczema is also called dermatitis. It is not dangerous, but most types cause red, swollen and itchy skin. Although eczema may look different from person to person, it is most often characterized by dry, red, extremely itchy patches on the skin. Eczema is sometimes referred to as "the itch that rashes," since the itch, when scratched, results in the appearance of the rash. As many as 15 million people in the United States have some form of eczema. It occurs in adults and children, but most often appears on babies. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. It is an allergic condition that makes your skin dry and itchy. It is most common in babies and children. Eczema can occur on just about any part of the body; however, in infants, eczema typically occurs on the forehead, cheeks, forearms, legs, scalp, and neck. In children and adults, eczema typically occurs on the face, neck, and the insides of the elbows, knees, and ankles. Eczema is a very common condition, and it affects all races and ages, including young infants.

Eczema occurs in both children and adults, but usually appears during infancy. You are more likely to have eczema if you have a family history of the condition. One of the most important components of an eczema treatment routine is to prevent scratching. Because eczema is usually dry and itchy, the most common treatment is the application of lotions or creams to keep the skin as moist as possible. It usually begins early in life, even before asthma or hay fever. Most affected individuals have their first episode before age 5 years. Eczema can be a difficult, frustrating condition. The natural human desire to scratch or rub an itchy rash just makes the condition worse, and treatments can be slow and are not always completely effective. Allergies to animal dander, rough fabrics, and dust may also trigger the condition in some people. Eczema can't be cured, but there are plenty of things you can do to prevent a flare-up. The mainstay of treatment is moisturising the skin . For this we use creams, ointments and shower and bath oils which help to replenish the skin's natural protective oils.

Causes of Eczema

The exact cause of eczema is not known. Although it is activated by the immune system and is related to allergic reactions , it is not the same as other allergic reactions. Eczema occurs in both children and adults, but usually appears during infancy. Factors that can cause eczema include other diseases, irritating substances, allergies and your genetic makeup. Eczema is not contagious. Eczema can't be cured, but it can be managed, and you can learn to avoid the things that trigger it.

Find common causes and risk factors of Name:

  • Animal saliva.
  • A history of asthma or hay fever.
  • Stress.
  • Rough or coarse materials.
  • Disinfectants.
  • A history of hypersensitivity.

Signs and Symptoms of Eczema

Eczema diagnosis is generally based on the appearance of inflamed, itchy skin in eczema sensitive areas such as face, chest and other skin crease areas. In many people, the itchy patches of eczema usually appear where the elbow bends; on the backs of the knees, ankles, and wrists; and on the face, neck, and upper chest - although any part of the body can be affected. Some people develop red bumps or clear fluid-filled bumps that look "bubbly" and, when scratched, add wetness to the overall appearance.

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • Dry, red patches of skin.
  • Patches are extremely itchy.
  • The red patches may blister, and the blisters may ooze and crust over.
  • A similar crusting.

Treatment for Eczema

Eczema can't be cured, but there are plenty of things you can do to prevent a flare-up. One of the most important components of an eczema treatment routine is to prevent scratching. Because eczema is usually dry and itchy, the most common treatment is the application of lotions or creams to keep the skin as moist as possible. If the condition persists, worsens, or does not improve satisfactorily, another effective treatment is the application of nonprescription corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce inflammation. Skin affected by eczema may frequently become infected. If this happens to you, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection.

Treatment may include:

  • Topical ointment for lesions that are oozing or extremely itchy, including mild anti-itching lotions or topical steroids.
  • Keep the skin moist with lotions and ointments to reduce symptoms.
  • Oral steroids, such as prednisone, for severe cases of eczema or inflammation.
  • Mild neutral soaps are recommended as needed, and bubble baths should be avoided.
  • Antihistamines to reduce inflammation and itching.