When we talk about eczema, some of us might immediately think dermatitis. Yes, eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It is a skin condition in which the skin cracks and looks rough, dry, inflamed, and irritated. Because of the dryness and inflammation, the skin sometimes bleeds, especially in extreme conditions.
In the US, eczema commonly affects infants and children. It can develop due to allergy, asthma, and hay fever. But many children outgrow eczema as they grow older.
Those who have a history of allergies and asthma are prone to having eczema. The process for diagnosis includes a skin examination, a review of medical history, and a skin patch test. Other tests, however, may be required for more severe conditions
Type of Eczema
The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, which usually affects children. Some types affect those who are older and may pose some challenges during treatment. Causes may include allergies and asthma, exposure to chemicals, insect bites, poor immune system, and other medical conditions.
- Atopic Dermatitis. Existing conditions like hay fever and asthma may cause this type. It may appear as a rash or a cluster of small bumps on the elbows, knees, cheeks, and scalp. The rash may get lighter, darker, and thicker.
- Contact Dermatitis. This may happen as a contact reaction to chemicals and substances that cause irritation to your skin. Aside from the appearance of a rash, itchy bumps, and ‘hives’, the skin may also burn and sting.
- Dyshidrotic Dermatitis. This type of eczema appears as blisters on the feet and hands area. The blisters contain fluids, which are itchy and may eventually flake.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis. This type usually affects the scalp and other areas on the head and face like the eyelids, eyebrows, sides of the nose, and behind the ears. It appears as flaky patches similar to dandruff.
- Nummular Dermatitis. The appearance of this type of eczema is distinctive because of the roundish shape of rash, much like a coin. Aside from allergies and exposure to chemicals, this may happen as a reaction to insect bites.
- Hand Eczema. As the name suggests, this type of eczema affects the hands only. This appears due to constant exposure to chemicals and other triggers in the hands. People who work in the salon and does cleaning or laundry are prone to this.
- Stasis Dermatitis. Exisiting medical conditions that hamper proper blood flow in the body may cause stasis dermatitis. This usually appears around the legs, where pressure tends to build up due to poor blood flow. As pressure continues, some of the blood and fluids leak out from the veins.
Symptoms of Eczema
Symptoms can vary and will depend on a person’s age and condition, including the triggers of eczema. But the usual symptoms are;
- Itchiness in the affected area
- Pink to red rashes
- Very dry skin
- Irritation due to dry skin
- Thick and scaly skin
- Scaling of the skin
- Crusting of the skin
Treatment for Eczema
Eczema has currently no known cure. The person who has the condition may not be able to get rid of it completely but may be able to manage it. It may require a lifestyle change and incorporation of healthy habits.
- Use hydrating cream and ointment for the skin
- Constant moisturization and hydration
- Intake antihistamine for itching
- Taking lukewarm baths
You can avoid eczema by doing the following
- Hydrate your skin by using hypoallergenic creams or lotion
- Drink water
- Minimize sun exposure
- Avoid stress
- Use smooth and comfortable fabric
- Use soap, lotion, and other beauty products that have minimal chemicals
- Avoid foods that can cause allergy
Eczema is manageable. Some people who are suffering from this condition feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. But if you have this condition, you should not feel ashamed and embarrassed. Go to the doctor, get treatment, and tweak your lifestyle.