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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Eczema

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Eczema is a general term encompassing various inflamed skin conditions. There are different types of eczema, and the disorder can have many causes and occur in many forms.

Types of Eczema

  • Atopic eczema is the most common form of eczema and is closely linked with asthma and hay fever.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis develops when the body's immune system reacts against a substance in contact with the skin. The allergic reaction often develops over a period of time through repeated contact with the substance.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis is a type of eczema caused by frequent contact with everyday substances, such as detergents and chemicals, which are irritating to the skin.
  • Infantile seborrheic eczema is also referred to as "cradle cap", it usually starts on the scalp area and quickly spreads. Although this type of eczema looks unpleasant, it is not sore or itchy and does not cause the baby to feel uncomfortable or unwell.
  • Adult seborrheic eczema is usually seen on the scalp as mild dandruff, but can spread to the face, ears and chest.
  • Stasis dermatitis or varicose eczema is caused by poor blood circulation. The skin around the ankles is affected, becoming speckled, itchy and inflamed. It is commonly seen on the lower leg area.
  • Discoid or nummular eczema is usually found in adults and appears suddenly as a few coin shaped areas of red skin, normally on the trunk or lower legs. They become itchy and can weep fluid.
Symptoms
  • Intense itching
  • Rash that appears patchy, which starts out as flaky or scaly dry skin on top of reddened, inflamed skin
  • Red bumps or clear fluid-filled bumps that look "bubbly"
  • Painful cracks can develop over time.
Risk Factors
  • Changes in temperature or humidity
  • Chemical irritants (pesticides, paint strippers, alcohol, astringents, perfumes, harsh soaps, detergents and household cleaners)
  • Physical irritants such as, clothes made of rough or scratchy fabrics (wool)
  • Allergens which includes dust, pollen, mold, animal dander, etc
  • Intense emotion or stress
  • Infections of any kind
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
  • Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures, dry air, harsh soaps and bubble baths.
  • Use blankets and clothing made of cotton instead of more irritating fabrics, such as wool, or stiff synthetics, such as polyester.
  • After showering or bathing, apply a moisturizing cream or lotion to trap moisture in the skin. Use a humidifier to add moisture to indoor air during the winter heating season.
  • Avoid skin contact with irritating chemicals, plants, jewelry and substances that trigger skin allergies.
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
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