Eczema also known as dermatitis is inflammation of the skin characterized by pruritic, edematous, erythematous skin rashes. It is a common condition affecting millions of individuals across the globe.
Eczema is of several types and the signs and symptoms vary with each condition . However, there are certain common manifestations of eczema that remain the same irrespective of the type of condition. Some of the common signs include redness of the skin, inflammation and pruritus. In some cases, the lesions may ooze and scarring can occur. The rashes that develop turn extremely itchy combined with dry and flaky skin making condition worse for individuals. The areas that are mostly affected include the face, hands, and folds of arms and back of knees.
Diagnosis of eczema initially begins with collecting past medical history of the affected individual followed by careful physical examination of the skin rashes. Many a times, diagnosis of eczema is mistaken for food allergies and it is therefore required that more methods need to be carried out for arriving at a definite conclusion. In view of this, the practice of conducting skin biopsy for diagnosing eczema is widely accepted .
Eczema cannot be cured; the symptoms however can be controlled with appropriate treatment regime. The following are the various methods administered for treating eczema and its several forms:
The prognosis of the disease condition is favorable with topical ointments and ultraviolet therapy. Children, who develop eczema often, undergo complete recovery by the time they reach adolescence. However, in about 2% of cases, treatments with topical ointments and ultraviolet light therapy do not work.
The exact etiology behind the development of eczema still remains unclear. However, researchers have postulated the fact that interplay of both environment and genetic factors can play a major role in causation of eczema . Exposure to unhygienic or dirty environment can trigger the development of skin rashes. Individuals who are allergic to dust mites can also suffer from eczema. Several genes have been identified to play foul in development of eczema; the important one being filaggrin .
Eczema is the most common type of skin disease in children. It is known to affect 5 – 20% children across the globe. About 11% of the population of United States suffers from atopic dermatitis, a form of eczema . In the year 2010, eczema affected as much as 230 million individuals across the globe.
The actual mechanism that triggers the epidermal layer of the skin to develop rash is not yet clear. The epidermis is the primary line of defense that safeguards the body from various forms of irritants and pollutants. When this layer is intact, no type of allergens can do any harm to the body .
In the condition of eczema, the skin loses its natural ability to retain moisture causing the skin to become dry and flaky. Such a development can cause the epidermal layer to get damaged by pollutants and allergic components. Certain immunity factors can also cause eczema. It has been seen that individuals with eczema have elevated levels of serum IgE.
So far no guidelines have been designed for preventing eczema. There have been several misconceptions that mother’s diet during pregnancy has some effects on children with eczema. However, there is no such evidence proving that changing one’s diet during pregnancy can prevent development of eczema in children.
Individuals suffering from eczema are advised against receiving the small pox vaccination as they are prone to develop fatal complication of eczema known as eczema vaccinatum.
Eczema is not a contagious disease condition and can be easily managed and controlled by following a proper treatment regime. Sometimes eczema is used for describing atopic dermatitis as well as atopic eczema. In certain language, eczema is used interchangeably with dermatitis; but in some other cases, eczema means a chronic condition, whereas dermatitis refers to an acute one. However, both eczema and dermatitis are skin conditions wherein the skin develops pruritic rashes that tend to turn red and swell in course of time .
Eczema is a skin disease characterized by dry and red, itchy skin. The disease is also known as dermatitis and is not contagious in nature. Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common forms of eczema. Such a type of skin condition cannot be cured; but the symptoms can be managed well by following a proper treatment regime.
The exact factors that trigger the development of eczema are yet to be figured out. It is however thought that environment and genetic factors have major role to play in causation of this skin condition. Unhygienic conditions and certain allergens are known to play foul in causation of eczema.
Symptoms of eczema include dry and flaky skin that gets extremely itchy and becomes red and swollen over a period of time. Areas most commonly affected include back of the knees, folds of the arms, face and the neck region.
Many a times a thorough physical examination is enough for diagnosing eczema. However, in certain cases skin biopsy may also be required for confirming the skin disease.
Maintaining appropriate hygiene can help prevent eczema flare ups. In addition, application of moisturizers on the affected area goes a long way in managing the symptoms of eczema. In severe cases, corticosteroids and immunosupressants may also be administered to control the symptoms.