Eczema is term used to describe a medical condition where a person suffers from different kinds of skin inflammation problems. It is also known by the term-dermatitis. Although the conditions of this skin inflammatory disease are most commonly found in infants and young children, people of any age and belonging to any race can be affected by eczema. It is not a fatal disease but it does affect the skin immensely by causing the skin to become red, itchy and swollen.
If you or any of your loved ones is suffering from itchy, red skin and facing severe skin inflammation problems then immediate medical examination is recommended. Visit a skin specialist and find out if you have got eczema. It is also better to carry out a proper research about eczema, find out about its causes and know of the different forms of eczema. Also find out about the signs and symptoms of this skin inflammatory disease so that you can detect this disease in the initial stages and seek medical help in treating it early on from either a doctor or someone with a doctor of nursing practice. Do an eczema research to know how this skin ailment can be diagnosed and treated. It is also important to learn of ways in which eczema can be prevented.
Causes of eczema
Doctors have not yet identified an exact cause of eczema but a combination of skin defects and an abnormal immune system is believed to be a crucial factor that causes this skin inflammatory disease. It can be triggered by a number of causes, including genetic defects resulting in inflammation of the skin.
Different forms of eczema are shown by scientific studies to be caused due to some substances and irritants that come in contact with the skin such as cosmetics, jewelry, detergents, soaps, some types of clothing fabric or even sweat. Weather change, psychological stress and environmental allergens can also trigger outbreaks of eczema in some people. This skin swelling medical condition is considered to be partially inherited and not believed to be contagious. Therefore, it is not strange that sometimes members of the same family also suffer from eczema.
Facts about eczema
Research about eczema will show you that nearly 85% of the people who are affected with eczema develop conditions of this skin inflammatory disease before they turn 5 year old. Scientific research also shows that eczema will get permanently resolved in some young children and infants by the time they turn 3. However, this skin problem continues to persist and severe skin inflammatory problem recur throughout the life of the person.
Signs and Symptoms of Eczema
Although eczema signs vary from person to person depending upon the severity of the skin inflammation, there are some signs common to all persons suffering from this medical condition.
- Redden dry skin
- Painful blisters
- Blood-filled lesions
- Scaly and crusty skin
- Repeated scratching
Most of the symptoms of eczema occur on the cheeks, forehead, legs, neck and scalp of the person. Although babies and young children may face signs and symptoms of eczema on any part of their skin, face, neck, knees, elbows and ankles are seen to be more affected by this skin inflammatory disease.
Different types of Eczema
Some major types of Eczema are as follows:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Seborrheic eczema
- Contact eczema
- Stasis dermatitis
- Nummular eczema
- Dyshidrotic eczema
The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis. The common signs and symptoms of most of these forms of eczema are scaly, crusty skin on the face, neck, scalp, skin irritation, reddened skin and extreme itchiness.
How is eczema diagnosed?
Doctors carry out complete examination of the skin and also seek the patient’s health records. A person suffering eczema will have to give a detailed account of when the skin inflammation condition appeared and whether it appeared due to some environmental changes or because of some skin contact with allergens. Diagnosis of eczema is not simple as it has similar symptoms and appearance to other skin infections. Therefore, a person may have to go for biopsy of skin or patch test in order to identify eczema.
Treatment for eczema
There are different ways in which eczema can be treated. Treatment method depends upon a person’s age, his overall health condition, severity of skin inflammation and the type of eczema from which he suffers. Use of corticosteroid creams, tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus is prescribed by doctors to control symptoms during severe outbreaks of eczema. One of the best ways to treat skin swelling is to keep the skin hydrated and to apply emollient creams and nourishing ointments. Besides the use of medications, introducing healthy lifestyle changes is also recommended in patients suffering from eczema.