What is Eczema? – Eczema is a name we all have heard time and again. What’s true about eczema is that it is not a pleasurable experience. In fact, people who have it have to suffer on a daily basis. Before anything else, it is important to note and understand what essentially eczema is.
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What Is Eczema
Eczema is not just a disease or a condition in itself. In fact, it is a term used for a group of different medical conditions that cause the skin to become irritated and inflamed. There are different forms of eczema but the most common one is atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema.
Eczema affects nearly 10-20 percent of the infants and nearly 3 percent of the children and adults in the US suffer from it. Moreover, it is also the infants who mostly and commonly develop the eczema condition but tend to outgrow it once they have hit their 10th birthdays.
Eczema does not come with any notices. However, there are certain important symptoms of eczema that you must take care of.
Symptoms Of Eczema
Eczema can affect any part of your skin. However, irrespective of the part of the skin that is affected by eczema, it will always itch. The itching might sometimes start before the rash begins to appear. However, when the rash does appear, note that it commonly appears on the face, at the back of the wrists, hands or knees or even the feed.
Once the symptoms start to appear, the skin that is affected by it will appear dry, scaly or thickened. On the other hand, people with fair skin also tend to develop reddish areas that after a while turn brown. On the contrary, for the darker skinned people, eczema might severely affect the pigmentation, causing the skin to become lighter or darker.
What Causes Eczema
What is surprising is that the exact cause of eczema is unknown. However, it is thought to be caused by an overactive response to the immune system of the body or to an irritant. When this happens, the body responds and starts to develop the symptoms of eczema.
Moreover, people who have family histories are also known to develop eczema. Eczema is found in families or family histories where there is a higher chance of developing asthma and allergies.
Contrarily, some people might have a certain flare up by developing an itchy rash in response to certain conditions or substances. For certain, coming in touch with coarse or rough materials might also cause the skin to start itching, setting up the stage and onset for eczema.
Certain household products such as soap or detergents may also cause an outbreak of eczema. Stress is said to worsen the process.
There is no cure for eczema. However, people who develop eczema can manage the disease by medical treatments and also by avoiding the use of irritants. Eczema is not contagious and it cannot spread from one person to another.
Types Of Eczema
If you are thinking that eczema is one condition, you might be wrong because there are different types of eczemas.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. It affects individuals who have asthma, hay fever or a family history of both. Atopic dermatitis defects the skin barrier, permitting the germs to enter in and the moisture to go out. This type of eczema usually starts in the childhood or infancy stages. However, it can affect anyone at any time.
The most common symptoms or signs of AD are visible on the face, hands, feet, back of the knees and the inner elbows.
People who develop AD should note, learn and understand that scratching the skin will cause it to become even thicker and red. Scratching can also create important wounds that might get infected. There are other detergents that worsen AD including soap, rough clothing, and household chemicals.
Atopic dermatitis can be treated. There are certain important products that you can use in order to treat it. Products that are used to moisturize the skin and lubricate it are a good choice. Moreover, steroid creams and ointments also make effective treatments. There are even drugs that can control the immune system or antibiotics that can work to treat the infection.
Contact dermatitis is another type of eczema. Contact dermatitis is of two type’s namely irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Both of these can develop after the substance starts to damage the skin. These include different chemicals or even frequent hand washing.
Moreover, irritant contact dermatitis can develop after a person touches a strong irritant one time or then come in contact with the substance that is causing the irritation over and over again. In addition, the most common types of irritants that cause contact dermatitis are industrial chemicals, wood, acidic foods, astringents, soaps, fragrances and other allergens.
The most common types of symptoms of contact dermatitis are redness, rashes, burning, swelling or even blisters.
Hand eczema is very common and about 10 percent of the population suffer from this type of eczema. It is a result of both internal and external factors. These may include genetics, contact with different allergens and other irritating substances like chemicals. The most common types of hand eczema symptoms are redness, pain, dryness, blisters, cracks in the skin and itching.
Dyshidrotic eczema is a serious condition that ends up producing small and itchy blisters on the edge of toes, palms, soles of the feet and other edges. There are certain important triggers of dyshidrotic eczema that must be taken into account. These are stress, allergies, moist hands, exposure to nickel, cobalt and chromium salts.
On the other hand, the most common symptoms of this type of eczema are small fluid blisters, itching, flaking, pain, scaly or cracked skin or overall redness.
Neurodermatitis is famously known as lichen simplex chronicus. It is an itchy skin disease that is quite similar to atomic dermatitis.
People who struggle with neurodermatitis tend to develop thick and scaly patches on their skin because of scratching or rubbing the area. The most common type of symptoms of neurodermatitis is thick and scaly patches on the nape of neck, scalp, shoulders, itching and lastly, discolored skin.
Nummular eczema is not a pretty sight. It is also referred to as discoid eczema and nummular dermatitis. This type of eczema is common and can end up occurring at any age. Moreover, it is quite different from usual eczema and a lot difficult to treat.
People who struggle with nummular eczema may develop coin-shaped spots on the skin and it can resultantly end up being very itchy. Some of the symptoms of nummular eczema are round coin-shaped spots, dry and scaly skin, itching and wet and open sores.
Eczema is also said to have very strong and stringent psychological and social effects.
Children who develop eczema may have a tough time at school. Eczema naturally makes you stand out in the crowd for wrong reasons. It is not comfortable to see. Thus, children who are subject to eczema might be victims of bullying and teasing, leading for them to become withdrawn, shy and underperform at school. Moreover, eczema may also cause sleeplessness that can easily cause fatigue in people. This, at the end, will cause and increase psychological distress.
On the other hand, individuals who are in the older age group might have a bad effect on their overall attractiveness and physical appearance. They may suffer from dry and cracked skin that may look very unattractive. This, at the end, will cause anxiety, depression and other serious problems.
Therefore, it is important to note that the psychological impacts of eczema are serious and grave and must be treated at the right time.
Eczema is the main cause of stress, anxiety, and fatigue in many than most. It can have an adverse impact on the way people think about themselves, how they carry themselves and how they perceive life.
Since the psychological impacts of eczema are serious, it is also important to note that the social impact of eczema might follow the same suit. People who have eczema might struggle on the social front. Eczema is said to affect people’s skin and cause a decline and drop in their attitude and the way they perceive things. They might naturally become shy and reserved due to embarrassment and therefore, might end up becoming the outcast in the society.
Sufferers of eczema, therefore, not only have to deal with the serious condition itself but they have a lot other things to deal with as well- for instance, they have to deal with the psychological, physiological and social impacts of the disease.
Eczema is a serious condition that affects a small portion of people but those it affects have to deal with the negative consequences of the disease. They not only have to get treated for it but they also have to deal with it on other fronts such as the ones mentioned above.