What is Eczema? Eczema is a common skin disease that can affect virtually anybody. The most common form of eczema is also known as Atopic Dermatitis. Symptoms are usually dry and scaly skin patches on scalp, forehead and face. This can cause severe itchiness, loss of sleep and other infections of skin.
Important Facts About Eczema
- Baby girls suffer from eczema more than boys.
- Eczema is aggravated during winter.
- 90% eczema sufferers are below the age of five years.
- Eczema is non-contagious.
- Eczema is genetic.
What Causes Eczema
Experts relate eczema to various genetic and environmental factors. Eczema is also caused from Asthma and allergies. Children who grow up in cleaner environment are more likely to catch eczema. Since these children have not been sufficiently exposed to the environment they don’t develop immunity. Children born to women over thirty-five have greater chance to develop eczema. Eczema is also more visible in people in cities, may be due to pollution.
Types Of Eczema
1. Chronic eczema – hands or feet, very severe.
2. Generalized eczema – widespread over all the skin.
3. Statis eczema – on the lower legs due to poor blood circulation, skin turns brownish.
4. Localized scratch dermatitis or eczema – darker patches surrounded by whitish areas on the arms, legs, ankles, or genitals. Scratching makes it worse. Frequent for women aged 20-50 years old.
5. Contact eczema or dermatitis – occurs only where the irritant comes into contact with the skin. irritants such as chemicals, perfumes, exposure to light, etc.
6. Atopic dermatitis or eczema – commonly in families with allergies, hay fever, B12 problems, asthma, and other allergy respiratory problems.
Infants – 2-18 months – red spots on face, scalp, and extremities; weeping, crusty.
Children, adults – localized, chronic. may subside in children aged 3 – 4, recur in adolescence or adulthood.
7. Seborrheic dermatitis or eczema – face, scalp, chest.
8. Nummular dermatitis or eczema – chronic, coin-shaped red spots, crusting, scaling. Occurs after aged 35, associated with emotional stress, and winter dry skin.
Signs Of Eczema
Eczema can affect the face, neck, arms, legs, scalp and the inside of the elbows, knees and ankles. These areas are important to keep track of in determining the early traits of eczema. Eczema may affect the person for a few days, or longer, depending on the type of eczema they have.
One of the first signs of eczema is intense itching of the affected area. Although people will develop different early signs of eczema, intense itching is the most common eczema trait. Some other early signs of eczema include dry, red skin that burns and/or itches. Eczema can cause blisters, lesions, and dry scaly skin. Each person who gets eczema can react differently to it.
- red bumps
Good skin care is key. If your eczema is mild, that might be all you need, along with some changes in your daily habits.If you have severe eczema, you may need to take medicine for it.
Soap and moisturizer. Use a mild soap or soap substitute that won’t dry your skin. You’ll also want a good moisturizer in cream, lotion, or ointment form. Smooth it on right after a shower or bath, as well as one other time each day.
If your eczema is severe, you may find that it helps to take baths with a small amount of bleach added to the water. That kills bacteria that live on the skin of people with eczema.
Short, warm showers. Don’t take very hot or very long showers or baths. They can dry out your skin.
Stress management. Get regular exercise, and set aside time to relax. Need a few ideas? You could get together with friends, laugh, listen to music, meditate or pray, or enjoy a hobby.
Get a humidifier. Dry air can be stressful for your skin.
Medication For Eczema
Ultraviolet light therapy. This may help if your skin condition is severe.
Drugs that work on your immune system. Your doctor may consider these medicines — such as azathioprine, cyclosporine, or methotrexate — if other treatments don’t help. There are also prescription creams that treat eczema by controlling inflammation and reducing the immune system reactions. Examples include pimecrolimus (Elidel) and tacrolimus (Protopic), which you should only use for a short time if other treatments don’t work — and you should never use them on kids younger than 2, according to the FDA.
Prescription-strength moisturizers. These support the skin’s barrier.
Hydrocortisone. Over-the-counter cream or ointment versions of it may help mild eczema. If yours is severe, you may need a prescription dose.
Antihistamines. Ones you take by mouth are available over-the-counter and may help relieve symptoms. Some of these make you drowsy, but others don’t.
Corticosteroids. Your doctor may prescribe these if other treatments don’t work. Always follow your doctor’s directions when taking steroids by mouth.
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