Eczema- Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments


A non-infectious inflammatory skin condition, Eczema, or “Atopic Dermatitis,” is characterized by severe itching, redness, oozing, and scaly rashes. Blisters, changes in skin colour, and pain are all possible outcomes of these symptoms. Allergies can cause Eczema in some patients.

Over time, Eczema comes and goes. It can be exacerbated by exposure to various things, including allergens like dust mites or pet dander, which can cause extremely dry and sensitive skin. Cosmetics, soaps, detergents, and lotions with strong fragrances are additional common triggers. Eczema can also be irritated by cleaning products and perfumes. Eczema can be made worse for some people by changes in the weather, especially in the dry winter air, illnesses like the common cold, or even stress.

With the help of an allergist, Eczema can be managed for both children and adults. An allergist may recommend topical steroids and/or antihistamines as prescription medications in cases of moderate to severe Eczema. Moisturizers and ointments can be used to treat mild cases. Atopic dermatitis typically manifests before age 5, but it can also affect adults and adolescents.

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Different Types of Eczema

 Here are different types of Eczema:

Contact Eczema

Contact eczema is a confined skin reaction to an environmental material that causes soreness, itchiness, and redness.

Hand Eczema

Hand eczema may affect you if you have dry, thick, scaly patches on your hands that can crack and bleed (similar to contact Eczema). A number of irritants and allergens could bring on an outbreak of hand eczema.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

The appearance of small, itchy eruptions on the edges of the fingers, palms, and toes can observe dyshidrotic Eczema. It can be observed on the sides of feet also. Allergies and even stress can be the reason for such types of Eczema.

Nummular Eczema

Unlike others, this type of Eczema looks in a different form; this is found to be coin-shaped spots on the skin. Like others, nummular eczemas are also itchy and dry.

Stasis Dermatitis

This happens when blood flow problems cause fluid to leak into the skin from the veins.

Causes of Eczema

The most prevalent form of Eczema is atopic dermatitis. This condition’s symptoms can vary and affect any part of the body. Eczema can be caused by many things, including how your genes and environment interact. An outbreak of skin inflammation occurs when an allergen or irritant from the body or the outside world “switches on” the immune system. This inflammation brings on the majority of eczema symptoms. Irritation can result from skin crevices, particularly those that occur in the flexural areas behind the knees, elbows, and lower legs.

Eczema may also have a genetic component that includes a protein called “filaggrin,” which helps keep your skin moist; dry and itchy skin can result from a filaggrin deficiency. You may be at a higher risk if you have atopic dermatitis or other types of Eczema in your family.

In addition to having a family history of Eczema, many common household items could be environmental irritants that trigger allergic reactions and trigger an eczema flare. Other common factors that can cause Eczema include:

  • Long time exposure to dry air, weather extremely cold or hot.
  • Using some soap, shampoos, and body wash that doesn’t suit your body’s skin
  • Chemically infused laundry detergents and fabric softeners
  • By using some specific fabrics in clothing and bedding
  • Metals, particularly nickel, in a utensil or even in jewellery
  • Some fragrances can also cause Eczema
  • Formaldehyde can be found in glues and adhesives, some vaccines, and household disinfectants.
  • Disinfectants and cleaners
  • Dust mites and living in filthy environments
  • Paraphenylenediamine, which is used in leather dyes and temporary tattoos

A flare-up of Eczema can also be triggered by emotional stress, but the reason for this is unknown. When people are “stressed,” their eczema symptoms and flare-ups worsen. Knowing they are suffering from Eczema makes them stressed, which can cause itchy skin.

Symptoms of Eczema

Itching, dry skin, and a rash are the first symptoms of Eczema. These symptoms suggest that you were exposed to a trigger in your environment that started or exacerbated your symptoms. Identifying and avoiding environmental triggers can lower your risk of eczema flare-ups in the future.

Other eczema-related skin symptoms include:

  • Red, elevated hives
  • Big, rough hives on the face, thighs, and upper arms
  • Flaking Skin patches
  • Big skin crumples on the palms
  • Rough, gristly patches of skin

Age can alter the location of Eczema. Eczema typically arises on the knees, outside the elbows, and cheeks in infants and young children. Eczema typically befalls the arms, back of the knees, hands, and feet in older children and adults.

Blisters, which can be painful, and a colour change in the skin are some of the symptoms. Eczema can cause severe itching that frequently prevents sleep. An infection may result from skin scratching. Infants with Eczema may rub against bedding or other objects to relieve the itching.

How is Eczema diagnosed?

After a physical examination, during which they can examine your skin in detail, a healthcare provider will make a diagnosis of Eczema. Eczema can be diagnosed at any age when symptoms begin, but it is most common to receive one as a child due to its prevalence among children.

Eczema symptoms may resemble those of other conditions. Your provider may offer tests to rule out other conditions and confirm your diagnosis. Examples of tests include:

  • Test for allergies.
  • Blood tests to find out if the rash is caused by something other than dermatitis.
  • A skin biopsy to differentiate between different kinds of dermatitis.

What is the treatment of Eczema?

With the help of an allergist, Eczema can be managed for both children and adults. An allergist may recommend topical steroids and/or antihistamines as prescription medications in cases of moderate to severe Eczema. Moisturizers and ointments like petroleum jelly can be used as skin eczema treatment for mild cases. To help prevent dryness, those should be applied daily, even if the skin appears clear.

People with Eczema should stay away from harsh cleansers, drink plenty of water, wear gloves in the cold, and avoid wool and other materials that could irritate the skin. Foods, cosmetics, soaps, wool, dust mites, mould, pollen, dog or cat dander, dry climate, and other factors can trigger Eczema flare-ups.

Your allergist may advise you to bathe your infant at least once a day and immediately apply moisturizer to him if he has Eczema. In addition to gently patting the skin dry and immediately applying a moisturizer to “seal in” moisture, frequent bathing should include limited use of pH-balanced skin cleansers.

Some advice to treat your Eczema

Protect your skin

Apply an emollient or moisturizer to your skin at least twice a day to protect it, even in between flare-ups when your Eczema is under control. Ointments or thick moisturizers work best.

Wet Dressing

Wet Dressings can help rehydrate, protect, and cool your skin.

Treat Flare-ups

Use ointments or creams your doctor prescribed to treat flare-ups. Steroid creams may need to be administered intermittently. For Eczema affecting the face, underarms, and groin, your doctor will prescribe weak steroids and stronger steroids for other areas. Make sure to apply the cream as directed by your doctor. Steroid creams rarely cause side effects in adults or children, so as long as you use them as directed, you shouldn’t worry.

Control Itching

Use antihistamines, apply a cold compress to the affected area, and avoid scratching to reduce itching. Your doctor may also recommend steroid creams to control the itching, though they should be used less frequently than during a flare-up.

Control Infection

Antibiotics, if prescribed by your doctor, can treat and control infection.

Home Remedies

The evaporation of room air and compresses made of tepid water may help mild Eczema. Applying water followed by an emollient (moisturizing cream or lotion) can help with chronic Eczema. Nonprescription 1% hydrocortisone cream can effectively treat mild Eczema.

 Are food and Eczema related?

It is not clear whether food allergies and Eczema are related. One of the reasons to avoid a particular food if you have a food allergy is that it may aggravate or exacerbate your eczema symptoms. Common types of allergies include:

  • Peanuts
  • Dairy
  • Eggs

Take note of what you eat. You may have an allergy to a particular food if your Eczema flares up after eating it. No foods can cause or exacerbate Eczema if you don’t have a food allergy.

Having Eczema can last a lifetime. It can begin as a child and continue into adulthood. Home remedies, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications can all help you manage your symptoms.

 Eczema affects many people and can be challenging. However, there are times when your Eczema may go away. A “remission” period is the term for this. You might also experience a “flare-up,” in which your symptoms appear or get worse. The treatment aims to stop flare-ups and make your symptoms better. Make sure to stay away from triggers, moisturize, take your medication, and do what your doctor tells you to do.

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