Dermatologist Midland - Dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis is referred to as eczema. The word literally means "to boil over", in the Greek language. Practically 1 in 9 individuals in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the words 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 implies an acute one.
The term "eczema" covers different persistent skin conditions. These consist of recurring skin dryness and rashes which have connected indications of dryness, itching, crusting, flaking, oozing, bleeding, blistering and skin oedema or swelling. Every now and then, temporary skin discoloration can result. In addition, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process can enlarge the rash and could lead to potential scarring.
Describing the indications of eczema could be somewhat confusing. The descriptions may consist of the possible cause, the specific appearance or the location. Many sources even make use of the words atopic dermatitis which is the most common type 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 flexural eczema, atopic dermatitis or infantile eczema. It is an allergic disease that is thought to have a genetic element. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with members who likewise have asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash which develops on the inside of elbows, scalp and head, on the buttocks and behind the knees. This particular kind of eczema is quite common in developed countries. It could be difficult to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories that contact dermatitis falls into is allergic and irritant. Irritant dermatitis could be caused to particular irritants including detergents like for instance sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis could occur as a result of a delayed reaction to particular allergen like nickel or poison ivy. Wet cement is an example of a substance that acts as both an irritant and an allergen. Phototoxic dermatitis can occur together with different substances after exposure to sunlight. Roughly three quarters of contact eczema cases are the irritant type. This is the most common occupational skin disease. If traces of the offending substance can be avoided and removed from one's environment, contact eczema can be curable.
This type of eczema would be worse in dryer winters and effects the trunk and the limbs more. It goes by other names, such as craquele eczema or xerotic eczema, asteatotic eczema, winter itch, pruritus hiemalis or craquelatum eczema. The tender, itchy skin resembles a cracked and dry river bed. This particular condition is very popular amongst older patients. A related disorder is Ichthyosis.
Babies normally have a condition of Cradle cap, or Seborrheic or Seborrhoeic dermatitis. This condition can likewise be classed as a kind of eczema associated closely to dandruff. It causes a greasy or dry flaking 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 crusty, thick, yellow scalp rash that is known as cradle cap. This condition has been related to a lack of biotin and is normally curable.
Less Common Types of Eczema
One more type of eczema is known as Dyshidrosis or dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This form is known for only showing up on the palms, toes and sides of toes and fingers. It presents with tiny opaque bumps called vesicles, thickening skin and cracks are accompanied by itching which becomes worse at night. This is a common kind of hand eczema and it gets worse during warm weather.
Other less common forms of eczema consist of Discoid e., Venous e., DermaDermatitisetiformis or Duhring's Disease, Neurodermatitis, Autoeczematization as well as other kinds that are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, like lymphoma for instance. There are several other rare eczematous disorders that exist in addition to these as well.
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 environment. This theory is supported by epidemiologic studies for asthma which states that during development it is essential to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and hence, missing out on this exposure increases the possibility for allergy and asthma.
One other theory states that the excrement from house dust mites cause the allergic reaction of eczema. Though 5% of people show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further justification.
Typically, the diagnosis of eczema is based largely on physical examination and history, although, in some cases, a skin biopsy could prove useful.
Because of the chance of developing eczema vaccinatum, people who have eczema must not receive the smallpox vaccination. This is a potentially sever and at times fatal complication.
Since there is no common cure for eczema, general treatments comprise the control of indications by reducing inflammation and relieving the itching. Medications that are existing comprise corticosteroids, hydrocortisone, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with several potential side effects, most usually thinning the skin, even though there is ongoing study in this field. Normally, these steroids are to be utilized really carefully and a little goes a long way.
Due to probable possibility of skin cancers and lymph node cancers, a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA on using immunomodulators. Different expert medical groups don't agree with the FDA findings.
Among 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. Then again, these could dampen the immune system and have major side effects. To be able to be on this type of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a doctor and undergo blood tests regularly.
The itching component of eczema could be counteracted using antihistamine and other anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce irritation and damage to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Various popular sedating antihistamines consist of Phenergan or Benadryl. Moisturizers are also applied to the skin in order to help the healing and soothing purpose. Capsaicin applied to the skin acts as a counter irritant and hydrocortisone cream is likewise utilized, although, a lot of health food stores provide some preparations together with tea tree oil and essential fatty acids as an alternative.
Lots of patients have found fast acting relief by applying cool water via a bath, swimming or a wet washcloth. Using an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even utilizing air blowing from an air conditioning vent has proven soothing.
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