Dermatologist New Glasgow - Eczema is a kind of dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis. The term comes from the Greek language and means "to boil over." In England, about 1 in 9 people or a projected 5,773,700 individuals have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the terms eczema and dermatitis are synonymous and usually the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the word eczema refers to a chronic condition and dermatitis refers to an acute one.
The word broadly covers a range of persistent skin conditions including: recurring skin rashes and dryness that is associated with at least one of the following symptoms of itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, bleeding, oozing, blistering and skin oedema or swelling. Sometimes, temporary skin discoloration may result. As well, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process may enlarge the rash and could result in probable scarring.
Describing eczema can be confusing. It could be described by specific appearance, by location or by possible cause. Lots of sources even utilize the terms atopic dermatitis that is the most common kind of eczema and the term eczema interchangeably with can add to the confusion.
These classifications are ordered by the frequency of incidence.
Atopic eczema, that is likewise called atopic dermatitis, infantile eczema or flexural eczema, is an allergic disease thought to have a genetic component. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with individuals who likewise have asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash that develops on the scalp and head, the inside of elbows, behind the knees and on the buttocks. This particular type of eczema is quite common in developed countries. It could be difficult to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories which contact dermatitis falls into is allergic and irritant. Irritant dermatitis could be caused to specific irritants including detergents like for instance sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can happen as a result of a delayed reaction to certain allergen such as poison ivy or nickel. Wet cement is an example of a substance which acts as both an irritant and an allergen. Phototoxic dermatitis can happen with other substances after sunlight exposure. About three quarters of contact eczema cases are the irritant kind. This is the most common occupational skin disease. If traces of the offending substance can be removed from one's environment and avoided, contact eczema can be curable.
There is a type of eczema which worsens in dry winter weather and commonly affects the trunk and the limbs. It is referred to as craquele eczema or xerotic eczema, asteatotic eczema, winter itch, craquelatum eczema or pruritus hiemalis. The tender, itchy skin resembles a cracked and dry river bed. This condition is really popular among older individuals. A connected disorder is Ichthyosis.
Infants usually have a condition of Cradle cap, or Seborrheic or Seborrhoeic dermatitis. This condition may also be classed as a type of eczema connected closely to dandruff. It causes a dry or greasy flaking of the scalp and could likewise have an effect on the eyebrows, face and sometimes the trunk. This is considered a harmless condition except in severe conditions of cradle cap. In newborns, it presents as a crusty, thick, yellow scalp rash that is referred to as cradle cap. This particular condition has been connected to a lack of biotin and is usually curable.
Less Common Types of Eczema
Another type of eczema is referred to as Dyshidrosis or pompholyx eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This kind is known for only showing up on the palms, toes and sides of toes and fingers. It presents with tiny opaque bumps referred to as vesicles, cracks and thickening skin are accompanied by itching which becomes worse at night. This is a common form of hand eczema and it gets worse in warm conditions.
Venous e., Discoid e., DermaDermatitisetiformis or Duhring's Disease, Neurodermatitis, and Autoeczematization are other less common kinds of eczema, which are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, like lymphoma for example. There are several other rare eczematous disorders that exist in addition to these too.
Several professionals have attributed eczema to the hypothesis of hygiene. The cause of eczema, based on this theory is asthma and other allergic diseases is due to an overly clean environment. This theory is supported by epidemiologic studies meant for asthma which states that during development it is essential 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. Although 5% of people show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further corroboration.
Usually, the diagnosis of eczema is based largely on physical examination and history, although, in various cases, a skin biopsy may prove helpful.
People who have eczema must not receive the smallpox vaccination due to the risk of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a possibly sever and sometimes fatal complication.
Since there is no common treatment for eczema, general treatments consist of the control of signs by reducing inflammation and relieving the itching. Medications which are existing comprise corticosteroids, hydrocortisone, injectable or oral corticosteroids. These come with several probable side effects, most commonly thinning the skin, although there is ongoing research in this particular field. Normally, these steroids are to be utilized very carefully and a little goes a long way.
Immunomodulators are one more form of cure though a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA because of possible chance of lymph node cancer and skin cancer. Different expert medical organizations disagree with the FDA findings.
Some of the more severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. At times these are prescribed and give slight to even dramatic improvements in the patient's eczema. Nonetheless, these can dampen the immune system and have major side effects. To be able to be on this form of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a physician and undergo regular blood tests.
The itching element of eczema could be counteracted using antihistamine and other anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce damage and irritation to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Various popular sedating antihistamines include Benadryl or Phenergan. Moisturizers are also applied to the skin to help the soothing and healing purpose. Capsaicin applied to the skin acts as a counter irritant and hydrocortisone cream is likewise utilized, although, many health food stores provide some preparations together with essential fatty acids and tea tree oil as an alternative.
Many patients have found fast acting relief by applying cool water via a bath, swimming or a wet washcloth. Making use of an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even using air blowing from an air conditioning vent has proven soothing.
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