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Eczema ; An itchy inflammation of the skin. – causes, Types of Eczema and treatment

Eczema is a skin disorder that is common in children and is also prevalent in older people as well. The good news about this skin disease is the fact that is cannot be contacted from another – it is not contagious. Research data confirms that it is very prevalent, with about 32 million people suffering from one type to another in the United States.

Overview : 

Eczema is a wide range of skin disorders than leaves the skin with a reddish inflammation that is itchy. Another name for it is ‘dermatitis’ or ‘atopic dermatitis’. The term ‘atopic’ is given to any type of immune system triggered health problem as it is the case with eczema. This disease is more prevalent in children; however, anyone at any age can be affected.

As some children affected with this illness become older, they grow out of this skin disorder completely. But, the case is not the same for others. The condition is not such that can be transmitted from one person to another. Eczema is a chronic skin disorder that can continue for a very long time. When treatment is applied, it relapses for a while only to reoccur again later.

There is no cure available yet for this condition, but there a variety of medications to prevent its reproduction. Genetics and some other factors in the surrounding of the affected are reasons for its occurrence. The factors in the surrounding that can cause this disease are pollen or smoke. The parts of the body affected most by this are the feet, hands, face, behind the knees and inside the elbows, becoming dry and reddish due to scratching.

Causes : 

The exact cause of eczema is not known, but there are some factors that are known to contribute to its occurrence. Genetics and some other factors in the surrounding of the affected are reasons for its occurrence. The factors in the surrounding that can cause this disease are pollen or smoke.

Hereditary has a major part to play in the formation of this skin problem. Children will most likely come up with this disease, if one or two of their parents were affected with any form of atopic diseases even if it was not exactly eczema. Genetic coupled with these other factors in the surrounding that can lead to this condition:

  • Allergens – contact with allergens like pollens, mites, molds, dandruff and infected pets can cause the formation of eczema on the skin.
  • Irritants – variety of items that can cause irritations such as shampoo, vegetables, soaps, fresh juice from fruits, meat and many other irritants can lead to the formation of this condition too.
  • Microbes – bacterial infections like staph, fungi, and viruses do cause the disease formation too.
  • Atmospheric Temperature – when one is already genetically prone, then a change in the temperature such as high and low humidity, sweats from strenuous activities, extremely hot or cold weather conditions can cause dermatitis to occur on the skin.
  • Stress – this can only add to the severity of the eczema, exacerbating the effects. It is not known to cause to the formation of the disease.
  • Hormones – elevations in the levels of hormones in the body cause the occurrence of eczema, especially during menstruation and pregnancy for females.
  • Diet – eczema is exacerbated when the wrong types of food are consumed. These can be eggs, different types of milk, soy, seeds and nuts – these should be avoided by those with this disease conditions.

Types of Eczema : 

There a many types of eczema with distinct characteristics, this means that every type is strikingly different from the other. Even though this is true, there is another fact that ascertains the occurrence of more than one type on one individual at a particular moment. All types come with the common symptom of dryness, redness, and itching. Having clarified these, here are the types of eczema:

  • Atopic dermatitis – this occurs as a result of the hyper activity of the immune system trying the fight external factors like irritants and allergens. It usually starts at infancy and some children outgrow it as they become older.
  • Contact dermatitis – the type of eczema that occurs when the skin comes in contact with any component that brings about irritations is known as Contact dermatitis. These irritating components can either be irritants or allergens that are not conducive for the body.
  • Dyshidrotic eczema – this type of eczema comes with blisters at the corners of the feet, palms, fingers, soles and toes. These aberrations are due to the fact that one is irritated by or allergic to substances like cobalt or nickel used for the plating of metals, or to other components.
  • Nummular eczema – these are eczema that are caused by insect mites, dry skin, or reaction to swellings on the skin. When it has occurred it comes with small rounded spots that are itchy on a dry skin.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis – this type of eczema occurs on the parts of the skin where there are many oil glands in concentration. This is not an allergic dermatitis but can be caused by the presence of yeast or other microorganisms on the affected area.
  • Stasis dermatitis – in this type of eczema, body fluids can overflow to the skin from the vein as a result of pressurized movements in the blood flow inside the vein.

Treatments of Eczema : 

Eczema does not have any known cure, but medications are prescribed to remove the symptoms from the skin, making the skin look normal again.  Some examples of medications are:

  • Corticosteroids creams and balms that are used to remove the inflammation/swelling and other symptoms from the skin. It is applied tropically.
  • Systematic Corticosteroids that are orally taken or injected to provide advanced treatments when the first option above does not work.
  • Antibiotics are used to combat the bacterial infections that come with the eczema.
  • Calcineurin inhibitors are used to prevent the hyper activity of the immune system thereby preventing the swellings that comes with atrophic dermatitis. It is applied tropically.


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