What Is Eczema?
Eczema, additionally called atopic dermatitis, is a common pore and skin condition, marked by itchy and inflamed patches of pores and skin. It’s often visible in infants and younger children, appearing on the faces of infants. But eczema can come in lots of types in children, teens, and adults. Read on to learn about the causes of the skin condition and how to treat its symptoms.
What are the types of eczema?
Humans commonly refer to eczema as atopic dermatitis, which is characterized by dry, itchy, and rashes on the skin. The condition is the most common and chronic form of eczema.
Other kinds include:
Contact dermatitis is due to contact with irritants. Burning, itching, and redness occur. An irritant is being removed while the inflammation disappears.
In Dyshidrotic Dermatitis, the fingers, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet are affected. It reasons itchy, scaly patches of pores and skin that flake or become red, cracked, and painful. The condition is more common in women.
Skin becomes dry, round, and scaly in patches during the winter due to nummular dermatitis. Legs are usually affected. It occurs more often in men.
What are the signs and symptoms of eczema?
The most common symptom of eczema is itchy, dry, rough, flakey, inflamed, and irritated skin. Eczema can appear anywhere, but it usually occurs on the arms, inside elbows, backs of knees, or head (especially the cheeks and scalp). It’s not contagious and, in some cases, becomes much less severe with age.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- intense itching
- red or brownish-grey patches
- small raised bumps that ooze fluid whilst scratched
- crusty patches of dried yellowish-grey that can signify infection
- scaly, thickened skin
Scratching eczema causes further irritation and inflammation. It can lead to infections that require antibiotic treatment.
What reasons eczema?
The cause of eczema isn’t always completely understood. But it is believed to be triggered by an overactive immune system that responds badly, while exposed to irritants. Some forms of eczema occur as a peculiar response to proteins found in the body. Usually, the immune system ignores proteins that might be a part of the human body and attacks only the proteins of invaders, such as microorganisms or viruses. In an eczema case, the immune system loses the ability to distinguish between these two, causing inflammation. An eczema flare-up is when one or more eczema signs seem on the skin. Common triggers of eczema flare-ups include:
- chemical compounds found in cleaners and detergents that dry out the skin
- rough scratchy material, like wool
- artificial fabrics
- raised body temperature
- temperature changes
- sudden drop in humidity
- food items allergies
- animal dander
- upper respiratory infections
What are the threat elements of eczema?
Your risk of developing eczema can be influenced by multiple factors. Eczema is extra, common in kids who suffer from bronchial allergies or hay fever, or adults who increase those conditions later, commonly before they turn 30. People with family members who have eczema also are at higher threat of developing the problem.
How is eczema diagnosed?
There is no specific test that may be used to diagnose eczema. If your health practitioner has seen the situation before, they will be able to recognize it by looking at your symptoms. With a patch test, you can pinpoint specific allergens that cause symptoms, such as allergies to the skin in the form of contact dermatitis (a type of eczema).
During a patch test, an allergen is applied to a patch that is used on the pores and skin. If you’re allergic to that allergen, your pores and skin will become inflamed and irritated.
How is eczema treated?
A dermatologist, allergist, or primary care health practitioner can help you identify the ideal treatment for eczema. Additionally, you may find it helpful to combine more than one remedy.
Some options include:
Oral over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines may also relieve itching. They work by blocking off histamine, which triggers allergic reactions. Examples include:
- cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- fexofenadine (Allegra)
- loratadine (Claritin)
Several antihistamines can cause drowsiness, so it’s recommended they be taken whilst you don’t need to be alert. Itching and scaling can be relieved with cortisone (steroid) creams and ointments. But long-term use of them can lead to side effects including:
- thinning of the skin
Low-potency steroids, like hydrocortisone, are available over the counter. If your body isn’t responding to low-potency steroids, high-potency steroids may be prescribed through a physician. In severe cases, a physician may also prescribe oral corticosteroids. These can cause severe side effects, including bone loss. To treat an infection, a physician may also prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic. Immunosuppressants are prescription medicines that prevent the immune system from overreacting. This prevents flare-ups of eczema. Side effects include an expanded risk of developing cancer, infection, excessive blood pressure, and kidney disease.
Light therapy, or phototherapy, uses ultraviolet light or sunlamps to assist, prevent immune system responses that cause eczema. It requires a chain of treatments and might assist reduce or clearing up eczema. It also can save you from bacterial pores and skin infections. Lifestyle changes Stress can cause or exacerbate symptoms. Ways to control pressure include:
- doing deep respiratory exercises
- practising yoga
- listening to relaxing music
- prioritizing a great night’s sleep A cold compress can assist alleviate itching, as can soaking for 15 to 20 mins in a warm or lukewarm bath.
Alternative treatments may also help calm the symptoms of eczema. Because of potential side effects, always check together with your physician before the use of a natural supplement or beginning an exercise routine. Popular home treatments include:
- green, black, or oolong tea
- coconut, sunflower, borage, and primrose oils
- Techniques for relaxation, such as meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery
How is eczema prevented?
Lifestyle changes which include stress reduction and improved sleep can lessen the chance of an eczema flare-up. Keep away from irritants like rough fabrics, harsh detergents, and soaps. The cold climate also can dry out the pores and skin and cause flare-ups. People with atopic dermatitis ought to keep away from scratching. To prevent breaking the pores and skin, it may help to rub rather than scratch the itchy areas. Using an ointment- or cream-based moisturizer can soothe your skin when you have dry skin, which can trigger an eczema flare-up.
What is the outlook for eczema?
What is the outlook for eczema? Eczema cannot be the cure but can be managed effectively with the right treatments. In addition to lifestyle changes, medications may also be a viable option. Some cases of eczema can lead to further complications.
Infections of the skin, like impetigo, are triggered by constant scratching. When scratching breaks the skin, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter.
Neurodermatitis can also be caused by excessive itching. It causes thickened, red, raw, and darker skin. It is not a dangerous condition but may result in permanent discolouration and thickening of skin even when eczema is not active. Scratching can also cause scarring.
Eczema patients often feel embarrassed and self-conscious about their skin. Getting proper treatment and controlling stress can help calm symptoms. People can also find relief from depression through support groups.
Sweating can exacerbate itching for people with eczema, and vigorous exercise may prove challenging for them. You should wear layers while exercising to keep cool. You may also need to avoid excessive physical activity during an eczema flare-up.