Dermatologist Kingston - Eczema is a type of dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis. The term is derived from the Greek language and means "to boil over." In England, roughly 1 in 9 individuals or a projected 5,773,700 individuals have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the words eczema and dermatitis are synonymous and often 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 "eczema" covers various persistent skin conditions. These consist of recurring skin rashes and dryness which have connected signs of itching, dryness, flaking, crusting, oozing, bleeding, skin oedema or swelling and blistering. Sometimes, temporary skin discoloration may result. Moreover, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process can enlarge the rash and could lead to possible scarring.
Describing eczema can be confusing. It can be described by location, by possible cause or by specific appearance. Numerous sources likewise make use of the terms atopic dermatitis which is the most common kind of eczema and the term eczema interchangeably with may add to the confusion.
These classifications are ordered by the frequency of incidence.
Atopic eczema, that is also known as flexural eczema, atopic dermatitis or infantile eczema, is an allergic disease thought to have a hereditary element. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with people who likewise suffer from asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash which develops on the inside of elbows, head and scalp, on the buttocks and behind the knees. This type of eczema is rather common in developed countries. It could be hard to differentiate between irritant contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis falls into two categories: irritant and allergic. Irritant dermatitis can result directly from a reaction to something particular such as a detergent like sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can take place as a result of a delayed reaction to certain allergen like poison ivy or nickel. Wet cement is an example of a substance which acts as both an irritant and an allergen. Phototoxic dermatitis could occur with various substances after sunlight exposure. About three quarters of contact eczema cases are the irritant type. This is the most common occupational skin disease. If traces of the offending substance could be avoided and removed from one's environment, contact eczema can be curable.
This particular kind of eczema would be worse during dryer winters and effects the limbs and the trunk more. It goes by various names, such as xerotic eczema or craquele eczema, asteatotic eczema, winter itch, craquelatum eczema or pruritus hiemalis. The itchy, tender skin resembles a dry and cracked river bed. This particular condition is really popular amongst older patients. A related disorder is Ichthyosis.
Cradle cap within infants is officially referred to as Seborrhoeic dermatitis or Seborrheic. This is a condition which is often classified as a form of eczema which is associated closely to dandruff. It causes a dry or greasy peeling of the scalp and could likewise 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 connected to a lack of biotin and is generally curable.
Less Common Kinds of Eczema
Dyshidrosis is one more type of eczema that also goes under the names of dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, housewife's eczema or vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis. This particular condition usually shows up on the soles, palms and sides of fingers and toes. It presents with small opaque bumps called vesicles, thickening skin and cracks are accompanied by itching which worsens at nighttime. This is a common kind of hand eczema and it becomes worse in warm conditions.
Discoid e., Venous e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Autoeczematization and Neurodermatitis are other less common types of eczema, that are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, as in lymphoma for example. There are many other rare eczematous disorders which exist in addition to these also.
Various experts have attributed eczema to the hypothesis of hygiene. The cause of eczema, based on this particular theory is asthma and other allergic diseases is because of 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 risk for allergy and asthma.
Another theory states that the excrement from house dust mites cause the allergic reaction of eczema. Even if 5 percent of people show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further justification.
Most often the diagnosis of eczema consists largely on physical examination and history. However, some cases can require a skin biopsy.
Individuals who have eczema should not receive the smallpox vaccination due to the chance of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a potentially sever and sometimes fatal complication.
Due to the fact there is no known cure for eczema; treatments are generally based on controlling the indications by reducing inflammation and relieving the itching. There are several medications existing like corticosteroids, hydrocortisone, injectable or oral corticosteroids. These come with some potential side effects, most usually thinning the skin, although there is ongoing research in this particular area. Typically, these steroids are to be used very carefully and a little goes a long way.
Due to possible chance of lymph node cancers and skin cancers, a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA on using immunomodulators. Various expert medical organizations don't agree with the FDA findings.
Amongst 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. However, 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 doctor of medicine and go through regular blood tests.
The itching component of eczema can be counteracted with the use of an antihistamine and various anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce irritation and damage to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Various popular sedating antihistamines include Phenergan or Benadryl. Moisturizers are likewise 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 used, however, many 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. utilizing 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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