Dermatologist Brandon - Dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis is referred to as eczema. The word literally means "to boil over", in the Greek language. Virtually 1 in 9 individuals in the UK have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the terms eczema and dermatitis are synonymous and frequently the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the term eczema refers to a chronic condition and dermatitis refers to an acute one.
The term "eczema" covers different persistent skin conditions. These consist of recurring skin rashes and dryness which have associated indications of dryness, itching, crusting, flaking, oozing, bleeding, blistering and skin oedema or swelling. Every so often, temporary skin discoloration may result. Moreover, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process could enlarge the rash and could result in potential scarring.
Describing the symptoms of eczema can be rather confusing. The descriptions can consist of the specific appearance, the location or the possible cause. Many sources also use the words atopic dermatitis that is the most common kind of eczema and the term eczema interchangeably with can add to the confusion.
These classifications are ordered by the frequency of incidence.
Atopic eczema is called flexural eczema, atopic dermatitis or infantile eczema. It is an allergic disease that is believed to have a genetic factor. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with people who also suffer from asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash that develops on the inside of elbows, head and scalp, behind the knees and on the buttocks. This particular type of eczema is quite common in developed nations. It can be tricky to differentiate between irritant contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis falls into two categories: irritant and allergic. Irritant dermatitis could result directly from a reaction to anything specific like for instance a detergent like sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can happen as a result of a delayed reaction to particular allergen like for instance nickel or poison ivy. Wet cement is an example of a substance which acts as both an irritant and an allergen. Phototoxic dermatitis can take place with various substances after exposure to sunlight. About three quarters of contact eczema cases are the irritant type. This is the most common occupational skin disease. If traces of the offending substance could be removed from one's environment and avoided, contact eczema can be curable.
There is a form of eczema that becomes worse during dry winter conditions and normally affects the trunk and the limbs. It is known as xerotic eczema or craquele eczema, winter itch, asteatotic eczema, craquelatum eczema or pruritus hiemalis. The tender, itchy skin resembles a dry and cracked river bed. This condition is very common amongst older individuals. A related disorder is Ichthyosis.
Babies often have a condition of Cradle cap, or Seborrheic or Seborrhoeic dermatitis. This particular condition can also be classed as a kind of eczema related directly to dandruff. It causes a dry or greasy peeling of the scalp and can likewise affect the face, eyebrows and at times the trunk. This is considered a harmless condition except in severe conditions of cradle cap. In newborns, it presents as a crusty, thick, yellow scalp rash which is referred to as cradle cap. This particular condition has been connected to a lack of biotin and is generally curable.
Less Common Forms of Eczema
Dyshidrosis is one more type of eczema that likewise goes under the names of dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This particular condition generally shows up on the soles, palms and sides of fingers and toes. It presents with small opaque bumps known as vesicles, cracks and thickening skin are accompanied by itching which becomes worse at nighttime. This is a common kind of hand eczema and it gets worse during warm weather conditions.
Other less common forms of eczema include Discoid e., Venous e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Autoeczematization, Neurodermatitis as well as other forms which are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, like lymphoma for instance. There are various other rare eczematous disorders which exist in addition to these as well.
Some professionals have attributed eczema to the hypothesis of hygiene. The cause of eczema, according to this particular theory is asthma and other allergic diseases is due to a very clean surrounding. This theory is supported by epidemiologic research for asthma which states that during development it is essential to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and therefore, missing out on this exposure increases the risk for asthma and allergy.
Another theory states that the excrement from house dust mites cause the allergic reaction of eczema. Even though 5 percent of people show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further corroboration.
Typically, the diagnosis of eczema is based largely on history and physical examination, although, in various cases, a skin biopsy could prove helpful.
People suffering from eczema must not be given the smallpox vaccination due to the chance of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a possibly sever and at times fatal complication.
Due to the fact there is no known treatment for eczema; treatments are generally based on controlling the indications by relieving the itching and reducing inflammation. There are some medications accessible like for example hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, injectable or oral corticosteroids. These come with some possible side effects, most normally thinning the skin, even if there is ongoing research in this particular field. Normally, these steroids are to be used really carefully and a little goes a long way.
Due to potential chance of skin cancers and lymph node cancers, a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA on the use of immunomodulators. Different expert medical organizations don't agree with the FDA findings.
Various severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. These are occasionally prescribed and can yield dramatic improvements to the patient's eczema but since they dampen the immune system, they can have major side effects. To be able to be on this form of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a medical doctor and go through blood tests on a regular basis.
The use of an antihistamine and other anti-itch drugs can help in the treatment of the itching element of eczema. By initiating a sedative effect, these work to reduce damage and irritation to the skin. Some popular sedating antihistamines consist of Benadryl or Phenergan. Moisturizers are likewise applied to the skin to help the healing and soothing purpose. Capsaicin applied to the skin acts as a counter irritant and hydrocortisone cream is also used, although, many health food stores offer some preparations together with essential fatty acids and tea tree oil as an option.
A lot of patients have found fast acting relief by applying cool water via a wet washcloth, a bath or swimming. utilizing an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even making use of air blowing from an air conditioning vent has proven soothing.
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