Dermatologist Lloydminster - Eczema is a form of dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis. The word comes from the Greek language and means "to boil over." In England, approximately 1 in 9 individuals or an estimated 5,773,700 people 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 term eczema implies a chronic condition and dermatitis refers to an acute one.
The word "eczema" covers various persistent skin conditions. These comprise recurring skin rashes and dryness which have connected signs of dryness, itching, crusting, flaking, oozing, bleeding, blistering and skin oedema or swelling. At times, temporary skin discoloration could result. Additionally, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process may enlarge the rash and could lead to possible scarring.
Describing the symptoms of eczema could be somewhat confusing. The descriptions can consist of the specific appearance, the location or the possible cause. Numerous sources likewise use the words atopic dermatitis which is the most common kind of eczema and the term eczema interchangeably with could add to the confusion.
The following classifications are ordered by incidence frequency.
Atopic eczema is known as infantile eczema, flexural eczema or atopic dermatitis. It is an allergic disease that is believed to have a hereditary factor. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with individuals who likewise have asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash which develops on the scalp and head, the inside of elbows, on the buttocks and behind the knees. This kind of eczema is rather common in developed countries. It could be difficult to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories which contact dermatitis falls into is irritant and allergic. Irritant dermatitis may be caused to particular irritants consisting of detergents like sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can take place as a result of a delayed reaction to some allergen like nickel or poison ivy. Wet cement is an example of a substance that acts as both an allergen and an irritant. Phototoxic dermatitis could happen with other substances after sunlight exposure. Approximately 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 could be curable.
There is a kind of eczema which worsens in dry winter conditions and commonly affects the limbs and the trunk. 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 dry and cracked river bed. This particular condition is extremely popular amongst older patients. A connected disorder is Ichthyosis.
Babies usually have a condition of Cradle cap, or Seborrhoeic dermatitis or Seborrheic. This particular condition may also be classed as a form of eczema associated directly to dandruff. It causes a greasy or dry peeling of the scalp and could even affect the face, eyebrows and at times the trunk. This is considered a harmless condition except in severe conditions of cradle cap. In newborns, it presents as a thick, yellow, crusty scalp rash which is called cradle cap. This particular condition has been associated to a lack of biotin and is generally curable.
Less Common Types of Eczema
Dyshidrosis is another type of eczema which likewise goes under the names of dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This specific condition normally shows up on the soles, palms and sides of toes and fingers. It presents with small opaque bumps called vesicles, cracks and thickening skin are accompanied by itching that worsens at night. This is a common kind of hand eczema and it becomes worse during warm conditions.
Other less common forms of eczema consist of Venous e., Discoid e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Autoeczematization, Neurodermatitis as well as various types that are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, like 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 theory postulates that the cause of asthma, eczema and other allergic diseases is because of an overly clean surrounding. This particular theory is supported by epidemiologic research meant for asthma which states that during development it is vital to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and therefore, missing out on this exposure increases the risk for allergy and asthma.
Another theory states that the excrement from house dust mites cause the allergic reaction of eczema. Although 5% of individuals show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further corroboration.
Most often the diagnosis of eczema consists mostly on physical examination and history. Nonetheless, several cases may need a skin biopsy.
Individuals who have eczema must not be given the smallpox vaccination because of the chance of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a possibly sever and sometimes fatal complication.
Because there is no common treatment for eczema, general treatments comprise the control of signs by reducing inflammation and relieving the itching. Medications which are accessible comprise hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, injectable or oral corticosteroids. These come with several probable side effects, most commonly thinning the skin, though there is ongoing research in this particular area. Normally, these steroids are to be used very carefully and a little goes a long way.
Due to potential possibility of lymph node cancers and skin cancers, a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA on utilizing immunomodulators. Different expert medical groups don't agree with the FDA findings.
Some severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. These are sometimes prescribed and can yield dramatic improvements to the patient's eczema but because they dampen the immune system, they could have major side effects. To be able to be on this form of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a medical doctor and go through regular blood tests.
The itching component of eczema can be counteracted utilizing antihistamine and various anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce damage and irritation to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Several popular sedating antihistamines include Phenergan or Benadryl. Moisturizers are also applied to the skin to be able to help the healing and soothing purpose. Capsaicin applied to the skin acts as a counter irritant and hydrocortisone cream is also utilized, however, lots of health food stores provide some preparations with tea tree oil and essential fatty acids as an option.
Lots of patients have found fast acting relief by applying cool water via a wet washcloth, a bath or swimming. Making use of an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even making use of air blowing from an air conditioning vent has proven soothing.
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