Dermatologist Bathhurst - 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. Practically 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 implies an acute one.
The word "eczema" covers different persistent skin conditions. These comprise recurring skin rashes and dryness which have connected signs of dryness, itching, crusting, flaking, oozing, bleeding, skin oedema or swelling and blistering. At times, temporary skin discoloration could result. Moreover, scratching open a lesion that is in the healing process could enlarge the rash and can cause potential scarring.
Describing eczema could be confusing. It can be described by location, by possible cause or by specific appearance. Numerous sources even make use of the words atopic dermatitis that is the most common type of eczema and the word eczema interchangeably with can add to the confusion.
The following classifications are ordered by incidence frequency.
Atopic eczema, that is likewise called infantile eczema, flexural eczema or atopic dermatitis, is an allergic disease thought to have a hereditary component. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with people who likewise suffer from asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash that develops on the head and scalp, the inside of elbows, on the buttocks and behind the knees. This form of eczema is quite common in developed countries. It can be hard to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis falls into two categories: allergic and irritant. Irritant dermatitis can result directly from a reaction to anything particular like for example a detergent like sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis could take place as a result of a delayed reaction to certain allergen like poison ivy or nickel. Wet cement is an example of a substance that acts as both an allergen and an irritant. Phototoxic dermatitis could occur with different substances after exposure to sunlight. Roughly 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 could be curable.
There is a form of eczema which becomes worse in dry winter conditions and normally affects the trunk and the limbs. It is known as craquele eczema or xerotic eczema, asteatotic eczema, winter itch, craquelatum eczema or pruritus hiemalis. The itchy, tender skin resembles a cracked and dry river bed. This condition is extremely popular among older individuals. A related disorder is Ichthyosis.
Infants usually have a condition of Cradle cap, or Seborrheic or Seborrhoeic dermatitis. This particular condition can likewise be classed as a kind of eczema related directly to dandruff. It causes a greasy or dry peeling of the scalp and can also have an effect on the face, eyebrows and occasionally the trunk. This is considered a harmless condition except in severe conditions of cradle cap. In newborns, it presents as a yellow, crusty, thick scalp rash that is referred to as cradle cap. This condition has been connected to a lack of biotin and is normally curable.
Less Common Types of Eczema
Dyshidrosis is another type of eczema that also goes under the names of pompholyx eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This particular condition usually shows up on the soles, palms and sides of toes and fingers. It presents with tiny opaque bumps called vesicles, cracks and thickening skin are accompanied by itching which becomes worse at night. This is a common type of hand eczema and it gets worse during warm weather.
Other less common kinds of eczema comprise Venous e., Discoid e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Autoeczematization, Neurodermatitis as well as various types which are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, as in lymphoma for example. There are many other rare eczematous disorders which exist in addition to these too.
Some attribute eczema to the hygiene hypothesis. This particular theory postulates that the cause of eczema, asthma as well as other allergic diseases is because of a very clean surrounding. This theory is supported by epidemiologic research for asthma that states that during development it is vital to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and thus, missing out on this exposure increases the possibility for allergy and asthma.
Another theory suggested is that eczema is an allergic reaction to the excrement from house dust mites. Even if 5 percent of people show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further corroboration.
Normally, the diagnosis of eczema is based mostly on physical examination and history, although, in several cases, a skin biopsy may prove helpful.
People who have eczema must not receive the smallpox vaccination because of the chance of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a possibly sever and sometimes fatal complication.
As there is no common cure for eczema, general treatments include the control of signs by relieving the itching and reducing the inflammation. Medications that are obtainable consist of corticosteroids, hydrocortisone, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with some probable side effects, most usually thinning the skin, though there is ongoing study in this particular field. Usually, these steroids are to be used very carefully and a little goes a long way.
Due to possible possibility of skin cancers and lymph node cancers, a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA on the use of immunomodulators. Different professional medical groups disagree with the FDA findings.
Several 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 kind of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a physician and undergo blood tests on a regular basis.
The itching component of eczema can be counteracted with the use of an antihistamine and various anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce irritation and damage to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Various popular sedating antihistamines comprise 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 utilized, however, a lot of health food stores offer some preparations with essential fatty acids and tea tree oil as an option.
By applying cool water via a wet washcloth, a bath or swimming, a lot of patients have found quick relief. One more proven soothing treatment is to apply an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even utilizing air blowing from an air conditioning vent.
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