Eczema – Causes, Symptoms ans Treatment

Eczema is a form of dermatitis , or inflammation of the upper layers of the skin. There are different types of dermatitis, and the disorder can have many causes and occur in many forms. Generally, dermatitis describes swollen, reddened and itchy skin. Approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of the world population is affected by this chronic, relapsing, and very itchy rash at some point during childhood. Fortunately, many children with eczema find that the disease clears and often disappears with age.

In general, atopic dermatitis will come and go, often based on external factors. Although its cause is unknown, the condition appears to be an abnormal response of the body’s immune system . People with eczema often have a family history of the condition or a family history of other allergic conditions, such as asthma or hay fever. Eczema might look different in different persons, and may occur in different parts of the body to different person. In adults, eczema most often develops on the hands and elbows, and in “bending” areas such as the inside of the elbows and back of the knees. In young children, eczema most often develops on the elbows, knees, face, neck, and scalp.

It is a disorder of the skin like psoriasis and it is related to malfunctions of the immune system. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a mild inflammation of the skin. It may occur at any time at infancy, later in childhood, or even an adult can suffer from it.

Symptoms of eczema may include red, itchy skin and sores that ooze and crust over. One out of ten children develops eczema, but more than half of them lose it by the time they reach their teens. It is a chronic inflammation of skin categorized by scaly and itching rashes. Dermatitis is a common condition that isn’t life-threatening or contagious. But, it can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. A combination of self-care steps and medications can help you treat dermatitis.

Causes of Eczema

In most cases there is a familial predisposition. Atopy ( allergic rhinitis , asthma and hay fever ) is the term doctors use to describe this predisposition. However, the environment plays a significant role as well (such as heat in the summer and dry winters). There are two types of eczema.

Atopic eczema is thought to be a hereditary condition . People with atopic eczema are sensitive to allergens in the environment which are harmless to others. In atopic eczema there is an excessive reaction by the immune system. This type of eczema can worsen after eating certain foods or after being exposed to other allergens such as pollen or dust. Atopic eczema can be a long-term condition.

Contact dermatitis is the most common form of the condition and is often the result of an allergic reaction after touching something. This type of eczema can be caused by many irritants including feathers, metals, wool, plants and animal hair, soaps and detergents, bubble bath, cosmetics, fabric dyes, etc.

Symptoms of Eczema

1. Itchy blisters

2. Itching

3. Redness on skin

4. Dry and flaky skin

5. Inflammation on skin

6. Rough and thickened skin.

Treatment of Eczema

1. Avoid frequent use of soaps, hot water, and other cleansing procedures (especially if you have a dry skin type) that tend to remove natural oil from the skin.

2. Topical corticosteroids , reduce inflammation in the skin and are usually safe and very effective in curing eczema when used correctly. Mild corticosteroids are generally used for children and on the face and flexures, eg crease of the elbow, behind the knees etc.

3. A very common treatment for treating eczema involves – applying lotions, creams, or ointments to keep the skin as moist as possible.

4. The use of immunosuppressant medicines , may be tried to bring the inflammation of skin under control.

5. Gamolenic acid (evening primrose extract) is an alternative remedy sometimes used to treat eczema. They increase the level of essential fatty acid.