Getting to Know Eczema
Eczema is one of the most common skin problems in the world. People with eczema usually experience extreme dryness of the skin and rashes. Their skin is red, itchy with some swelling and blistering. There is also crusting, flaking, and cracking. Extreme cases can also lead to bleeding and lesions.
There are many kinds of eczema.
It is classified mostly according to the place where it attacks. For instance, the foot or the hand. It may also be classified according to the causes of eczema. The many classifications of eczema make the understanding of this skin problem harder and more confusing.
One of the most common types of eczema is called atopic eczema.
This is an allergic reaction. Itchy rash from eczema can be found on the head, the scalp, the neck the inside of the elbows, behind the knees, and the buttocks. Contact dermatitis-like this can either be caused by either an allergic reaction or an irritant, for instance, detergent.
Another possibility is the Xerotic eczema, which starts with dry skin and then progresses into eczema. Usually, this worsens when the air is cold and dry like in winter. This is also very common with older people.
Another very common type of eczema is the Seborrhoeic dermatitis, which is characterized by the formation of dandruff on the scalp, the eyebrows and even on the face.
This kind of eczema is basically harmless except when it happens to babies. In newborns, the cradle cap can lead to thick yellow scalps.
Also a harmless type of eczema is the Dyshidrosis, which is often found on palms and on the sides of the fingers and toes. This worsens in the warm weather.
There is also discoid eczema which can create oozing or dry rash.
This is often seen on the lower legs. It becomes worst in winter. Venous eczema, on the other hand, occurs with people with impaired circulation, or those with varicose veins and edema. This is also common for people who are old, over 50 years old. Venous edema is characterized by redness, scaling, itching, and darkening of the skin.
Dematitis herpetiformis, another form of eczema, can cause itchiness and rashes on various parts of the body.
The skin problem is connected usually with celiac disease and is one of its symptoms. It also tends to get worst at night.
Usually, dermatitis or eczema is treated with medications like corticosteroids. Although the medication does not really cure eczema completely, it does help in suppressing and controlling the problem. These medications have side effects though.
One of them is the thinning of the skin, resulting in making it too fragile. Care must also be taken to avoid the eye part. That is why corticosteroids are not given for long periods of time. This is to prevent the side effects from happening. However recent studies show much promise on topical corticosteroids. Topical medications do not seem to affect the skin and do not result in thinning. This is why topical medications are being prescribed for eczema.