What is Eczema?

Eczema which is also referred as Dermatitis is basically a term for many different types of skin conditions. Eczema is not dangerous, but in most of its types, it causes the skin to become red, itchy and swollen. Eczema is a chronic disease. Atopic Dermatitis is the most common type of Eczema.

What are the different variants of Eczema?

The most common variants of Eczema are:

  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Xerotic Eczema
  • Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

The less common variants of Eczema are:

  • Dyshidrosis
  • Discoid Eczema
  • Venous Eczema
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Autoeczematisation
What are the causes of Eczema?

It is assumed that the combination of genetic and environmental factors results in Eczema, as the exact cause of the same is still unknown. It is also assumed that dry, irritable skin with the malfunction in the body’s immune system also results in Eczema. Emotional disorders and stress worsens it, but they are not believed to be the cause of it.

What are the signs and symptoms of Eczema?

The signs and symptoms of Eczema include:

  • Severe itching, especially during the night
  • Sensitive and raw skin from excessive scratching
  • Red to brownish-gray patches
  • Scaly, thick or cracked skin

The patches appear anywhere, but more often they appear on the feet and hands, especially in front of the bend of the elbow, behind the knees, on the ankles, wrists, neck, face and upper chest.  In some cases, it also affects the skin around the eyes. Excessive scratching leads to redness and swelling around the eyes. It usually begins in early childhood before the age of 5 and may persist into adulthood. It occurs periodically and then subsides for some time, the time period can also be for many years.

Which factors worsen Eczema?
  • Hot baths or showers for longer duration
  • Excessive stress
  • Sweating
  • Low humid conditions
  • Change in temperature
  • Soaps or detergents
  • Dust or sand
  • Wool or fabric clothing
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Living in cities where the pollution is high
  • Foods like milk, soy, wheat or eggs
Which consultant should be consulted if a person shows signs of Eczema?

One should consult a Dermatologist or a Physician if a person shows signs and symptoms of Eczema.

Which lifestyle and home remedies are recommended to the person suffering from Eczema?
  • Identify the things that worsen the inflammation: Sweat, stress and rapid change in the temperature worsen the condition; also direct contact with woollen products should be avoided.  Harsh soaps and detergents should be avoided too
  • Apply a lotion or an anti-itch cream to the affected area: If itching is severe anti-itch cream is helpful if applied on the affected area
  • Avoid scratching: The itchy area should be covered to prevent it from excessive scratching. Nails should be trimmed and gloves should be worn during the night
  • Moisturize your skin: If the skin remains damp after a shower, oil or cream should be applied to keep it moisturized. Special care should be taken of the legs, arms, back and the sides of the body. If the skin is already dry, a lubricating cream is highly recommended
  • Wear cool, cotton clothing: Tight, rough clothing should be avoided and cotton clothing should be worn to avoid irritation. During hot weather or during an exercise appropriate clothing should be worn to avoid excessive sweating
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