Eczema - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Dr. Nagesh T.S
Kalyan nagar, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Eczema can be defined as a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough. Sometimes blisters may occur, when they will break the affected skin will weep and ooze. Scratching the patches damages the fragile skin and exacerbates the problem.
Symptoms and Signs
Itching is a major sign or symptoms found in a person suffering from Eczema. Elevated plaques of red, bumpy skin, the distribution of the eruption helps in distinguishing one type from another. For an example, stasis dermatitis mostly on the lower leg while atopic dermatitis mostly occurs in the front of the elbow and behind the knee.
Type of Eczema
Atopic dermatitis: It has a genetic basis and produces a common type of eczema. It begin early in life in those with a predisposition to inhalant allergies. In this rashes occur on the cheeks, neck, elbow and knee creases, and ankles.
Irritant dermatitis: It occurs when the skin is repeatedly exposed to excessive washing or toxic substances.
Allergic contact dermatitis: After repeated exposures to the same substance, an allergen, the body's immune recognition system becomes activated at the site of the next exposure and produces eczema. An example of this would be poison ivy allergy.
Stasis dermatitis: It generally occurs on the swollen lower legs of people who have poor circulation in the veins of the legs.
Fungal infections: This can produce a pattern identical to many other types of eczema, but the fungus can be seen with a scraping under the microscope or grown in culture.
Scabies: It is caused by an infestation by the human itch mite and may produce a rash very similar to other forms of eczema.
Pompholyx (dyshidrotic eczema): It commonly affects the hands and rarely affects the feet by producing an itchy rash composed of tiny blisters (vesicles) on the sides of the fingers or toes and palms or soles.
Lichen simplex chronicus: It produces thickened plaques of skin commonly found on the shins and neck.
Nummular eczema: This is a nonspecific term for coin-shaped plaques of scaling skin most often on the lower legs of older individuals.
Xerotic (dry skin) eczema: If dryness becomes excessive then the skin will crack and ooze.
Seborrheic dermatitis: It produces a rash on the scalp, face, ears, and occasionally the mid-chest in adults
Acute eczema (dermatitis) is recognised by weeping, oozing, vesicles. It can be treated by applying cool compresses for a short interval followed by evaporation. The compress could be a dilute vinegar solution or just tepid tap water. Repeated cycles of soaking and evaporation may be required to freeze the weeping and oozing. Eczema caused by fungi and scabies is transmissible to others.
The application of topical steroids to this type of dermatitis is often very effective followed by the application of an ointment. This works best on moistened skin.
It is of utmost importance to concern doctor and to determine the type of eczema in order to eliminate it permanently.