What is Eczema?
Eczema is also referred to as atopic dermatitis. Eczema is a medical condition in which the skin or patches of the skin become red, itchy and irritated. Eczema damages the skin and its barrier function, causing the skin to be more sensitive to harmful infections and diseases. It is common in people of all age groups.
There is no need to worry about Eczema because it is not contagious. Of all dermatitis, Atopic dermatitis is regarded as the most common dermatitis.
What are the types of Eczema?
Each Eczema differs in symptoms and causes. The following are the types of Eczema.
- Contact Eczema is characterised by a rash or itchy sensation in the skin. An irritating or allergic reaction of the skin triggers the condition.
- Discoid Eczema is a long-term condition that causes oval or coin-shaped patches on the skin. The causes of Discoid Eczema is unclear but found common in people with dry skin.
- Varicose Eczema, also known as Stasis Eczema, is common in people with Varicose veins. Increased blood pressure in the leg results in Varicose Eczema. It mostly develops in the legs.
- Asteatotic Eczema or Xerotic Eczema develops because of dry, cracked or itchy skin. The water loss in the stratum corneum caused by the breakdown of the skin barrier is the major reason for Asteatotic Eczema.
- Dyshidrotic Eczema is characterized by sudden itchy, little bumps or blisters on the palm and fingers. Allergy, infection, etc., can act as a triggering agent.
What are the causes of eczema?
The cause of Eczema is quite unclear. However, studies believe a single health condition does not cause Eczema. Eczema is a reaction to multiple health conditions. It is believed that the interplay of overactive immune systems and environmental factors trigger the condition.
Eczema can run in families and may develop eventually. Eczema affects or reduces the skin’s lipid barrier, promoting water loss and causing dry skin. People with a history of Asthma and Hay fever have a high risk of developing Eczema.
The multiple factors that cause Eczema in adults and children include the following.
- Climate change
- Some food that causes allergies
- Genetic factors
- Immune systems dysfunction
What are the symptoms of Eczema?
Eczema symptoms can vary from person to person. Age, health complications and severity of the disease are the factors that determine the severity of the symptoms. You may experience redness on the surface of the skin and an itchy or irritating sensation.
The following are the common symptoms of Eczema:
- Dry skin
- Itchy or irritating sensation
- Change in colour of the skin (red to brown)
- Bumps on the skin
- Inflamed skin
- Crusts or scabs
- Skin infections
Children with Eczema have dry and scaly skin.
How is Eczema diagnosed?
The diagnosis process starts with consulting a doctor and talking about the signs and symptoms, followed by the physical examination of the affected area.
Eczema can be diagnosed by examining visible and felt changes in the body and skin. There is no specific test to diagnose Eczema; however, in concern to the health condition, the doctor will need the help of other tests such as blood tests and so on to check for allergies.
How to cure Eczema?
There is no permanent cure for Eczema. Treatments aim to prevent the spread of rashes and to ease itchy and irritating sensations. The treatments will be planned by the doctor, considering the age, severity of diseases and the current health condition of the affected individual.
The treatment includes the cream that helps to control the itchiness, follow it as prescribed by the doctor. Along with cream and ointments, certain antibiotics are added if the skin is affected by bacterial infection.
In some people, Eczema persists throughout their lives, while in others, it disappears over time.
Following are some of the home care treatments to cure Eczema:
- Lukewarm water bath
- Try to avoid food that causes allergies
- Moisturize the skin
- Avoid the factor that triggers skin allergies
Consulting a doctor is always the best way to reduce the risk of developing more health complications.
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Know yourself in the first place, analyse the factors that trigger the allergy and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. The little step you take may contribute to your health in better ways.