Eczema is a common skin condition that causes the skin to become inflamed. Symptoms can vary from a mild rash that disappears quite quickly to a more severe condition that is present for a long time. Scroll till the end to know the Causes, Types, Prevention, Symptoms, and Treatment Of Eczema. If you are dealing with this skin problem, then you’ll definitely be going to love this post.
The appearance of skin affected by eczema will depend on how much a person scratches and whether the skin is infected. Rubbing and scratching can further irritate the skin, increase inflammation, and make the condition worse.
Eczema is not contagious means you cannot get and give it to another person. Certain foods can trigger symptoms of eczema like eggs, soy, nuts, and chocolates. Environmental triggers can include smoke, pollen, harsh soaps, and fragrances. The appearance of skin affected by eczema will depend on how much a person scratches. Scratching and rubbing can further irritate the skin, increase inflammation, and make the itching worse.
Causes Of Eczema
The cause of eczema isn’t completely understood. Eczema is probably caused by a combination of things that may include:
- Genetics. A major risk factor is having relatives who have or had eczema, asthma, or seasonal allergies. A large percentage of children with severe eczema will later develop asthma or other allergies.
- Mother’s age at the time of birth. It’s not clear why, but children born to older women are more likely to develop eczema as compared to children born to younger women.
- Environment. Children are more likely to get eczema if they live in urban areas with higher levels of pollution, or live in colder climates.
- Defects in the skin barrier that allow moisture out and germs in
- Endocrine disorders such as thyroid disease
What Triggers Eczema
- Chemicals or preservatives are found in cleansers and detergents.
- Scented products like perfumes
- Allergens such as pollens, mold, dust, or dust mites
- Rough scratchy material, like wool
- Synthetic fabrics
- Excessive sweating
- Temperature changes (being too hot or cold)
- Food allergies
- Not using a skin lubricant after a bath
- Upper respiratory infections
Types Of Eczema
1. Atopic Dermatitis
It is the most common type of eczema. Atopic dermatitis usually begins during infancy or childhood. But it can strike people at any age. It affects people who often have:
- Asthma or hay fever
- A family history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever
- Defects in the skin barrier
Causes Of Atopic Dermatitis:
Irritants that can worsen symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:
- Harsh cleanser.
- Rough clothing
- Household chemicals contain chemicals and preservatives.
Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis:
- Over time, scratching the skin can cause it to become thick and red. Scratching can also create wounds that become infected.
- It affects the skin on the:
- Inner elbows
- Back of the knees
2. Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis has two main types:
Irritant contact dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis
It is caused by exposure to something that irritates the skin or triggers an allergic reaction.
Irritant contact dermatitis can start after touching a strong irritant one time or by repeatedly coming into contact with the irritating substances.
This can also happen after a person touches an allergy-triggering substance, such as nickel, cosmetics, or poison ivy.
Symptoms Of Contact Dermatitis:
This condition cause skin to become inflamed, blistered, dry, cracked, and thickened. These symptoms develop commonly on the hands and face but can appear anywhere on the body.
3. Dyshidrotic Dermatitis
Dyshidrotic dermatitis affects fingers, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet and is more common in women. Sometimes deep cracks can appear on the hands or fingers. This type of eczema may become chronic and painful.
Causes Of Dyshidrotic Dermatitis:
The causes of this condition are still not confirmed by doctors.
Symptoms Of Dyshidrotic Dermatitis:
- Severe itching.
- Scaly patches.
- Sometimes deep cracks can appear on the hands or fingers.
4. Nummular Dermatitis
This type of eczema more often affects both men and women. Women are likely to get it in their teen years or early adulthood Men usually don’t get their first outbreak before their mid-50s.
Causes Of Nummular Dermatitis
The cause of nummular dermatitis is unknown but usually happens in people who have a history of dry scaly skin. But things that may raise the chance include:
Cold, dry air
Exposure to chemicals such as formaldehyde
Exposure to metals, including nickel
Symptoms Of Nummular Dermatitis:
This type causes coin-shaped red marks on the skin. They often appear:
- Backs of the hands
- Lower back
5. Stasis Dermatitis
When the veins in their lower legs don’t properly return blood to their heart, this condition occurs.
Causes Of Stasis Dermatitis
Stasis dermatitis is caused by poor blood flow.
Symptoms Of Stasis Dermatitis:
This condition can start quickly causing weeping and crusting of the skin. This can cause brown stains on the skin over time.
Symptoms Of Eczema
The symptoms of eczema can vary depending on a person’s age and the condition’s severity.
Below are the main symptoms of eczema:
General Eczema Symptoms
Often eczema symptoms are mild. The most common symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry, scaly skin
- Skin flushing
- Open sores.
- Weeping sores
Infant Eczema Symptoms
Below are the symptoms that are more common in babies under the age of two.
- Rashes on the scalp and cheeks.
- Rashes that bubble up before leaking fluid.
- Extreme itchiness, which may interfere with sleeping.
Childhood Eczema Symptoms
Below are symptoms that are common in children above the age of two:
- Rashes behind the creases of elbows or knees.
- Rashes on the neck, wrists, ankles, and the crease between the legs and buttocks.
- Bumpy rashes on the skin.
- Rashes formed lighter or darker.
Symptoms In Adults
Following are the symptoms that are common in adults.
- Scaly skin.
- Rashes that commonly appear in the creases of the elbows or knees or the nape of the neck
- Rashes more parts of the body.
- Very dry skin on the affected areas
- Permanent itchy rashes.
Prevention Of Eczema
The following tips may help prevent bouts of eczema (flares) and alleviate the symptoms:
- Use moisturizer twice a day or more often even when there is no need to moisturize. Applying moisturizer while the skin is still moist after a bath or shower to help lock in the moisture.
- Avoid wearing wool or synthetics. Wear pure cotton or cotton-mixture clothes.
- Avoid using soap, especially deodorant or anti-bacterial soaps, or harsh exfoliators.
- Use a mild, non-fragranced liquid cleanser, emulsifying ointment, and gentle scrub.
- Use warm water for a bath.
- Do not rub your skin with a towel to dry your skin after a bath.
- When washing, avoid fabric softeners as these can irritate the skin.
- Avoid foods that are known for allergic reactions such as peanuts, chocolates, eggs, seafood, milk, and soy.
- Avoid direct use of anti-septic and solvents.
- Environmental factors can irritate the condition such as cold, heat, and sunlight. Avoid them as much as possible
- Use a humidifier in winter and summer
- Use bandages to stop scratching at night.
- Keep fingernails short to decrease the damage caused by scratching.
Treatment For Eczema
A dermatologist, allergist, or primary care doctor can help you identify the correct treatment for eczema. Even though the condition itself is not currently curable, each person should consult with a doctor to get a tailored treatment plan.
- Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments
- Oral medications
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors
- Barrier repair moisturizers
- Injected biologic drugs
Frequent Asked Questions
Q. Will eczema go away on its own?
A. Eczema typically develops in early childhood and in some cases it goes away on its own. For everyone else, eczema is usually a lifelong skin condition which means that it cannot be cured. Treatments, however, are very effective in reducing the symptoms of itchy, dry skin.
Q. Is Vaseline good for eczema?
A. Petroleum jelly is an ideal treatment for eczema and works well for sensitive skin. Petroleum jelly has moisturizing and soothing properties that alleviate irritation, redness, itching, and discomfort.
Q. What foods to avoid if you have eczema?
A. Citrus fruits.
- Gluten or wheat.
- Spices, such as vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon.
- Some nuts.