Last Updated on February 15, 2020 by Uche Udeariry
Have you ever wondered what is eczema or the symptoms to watch out for? Is Eczema a skin disease or something you cannot even fathom?
In this article, we will answer those disturbing questions, so you can take the right approach when dealing with the disorder.
Diverse forms of skin conditions exist, but perhaps eczema is the most common and troubling concept. You might ask the question; what is eczema? How can I prevent it? Is there a way to prevent eczema or perhaps prevent future outbreaks?
Is Eczema a skin disease
For starters, you need to know that the term eczema is an umbrella term for dermatitis. Therefore, eczema occurs when the skin becomes red, cracked, rough, itchy, or inflamed. On some occasions, blisters and pain may also surface. There are different types of eczema conditions depending on how they appear, causes, and possible treatment. Nevertheless, eczema can affect everyone, and treating the disease may depend on finding the exact type. Currently, over 15-20% of infants and children and over 3% of children have eczema across the globe
What Is The Main Cause Of Eczema?
No scientist or researcher has ever discovered the principal causes of eczema.
However, many scientists agree that your genes and environment may play a role in its occurrence. Nevertheless, eczema is not contagious
Therefore, when treating the condition, it’s always important to pay attention to possible products or habits that might be causing the breakout.
You must also know that there are no cures for eczema. There are only treatment options that might treat the appearance and reduce the number of future outbreaks.
Let’s look at some eczema types and subsequent eczema symptoms to look out for.
Please note: Eczema affects both light and dark-skinned people. In light-skinned, you may find all the symptoms mentioned below with reddish or brown colorations. In dark-skinned, the condition can affect pigmentation leading to darker or lighter patches
1. Atopic Dermatitis
This is the most common type of eczema. Many books and websites use the word atopic dermatitis and eczema interchangeably. Nevertheless, atopic dermatitis usually starts in childhood and is higher in people with hay fever or asthma. Atopic dermatitis happens when the skin’s natural barrier is weakened. It can be caused by an immune problem, the environment, dry skin, or genetics.
- may find rashes which turn lighter or darker around the knees and elbows
- forms small bumps that leak fluid when scratched and leads to skin infections
- Babies may have them around the cheeks and scalp
2. Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis occurs when you react to substances you touch, such as a chemical substance or can be an immune system reaction to metals or latex. Some common chemical substances can trigger the condition triggers including bleach, jewellery, detergents, nickel, latex, skincare products, makeup, soaps, perfumes, tobacco smoke, solvents, and many more.
- The skin turns red, itchy or burns and stings
- Leads to itchy bumps (hives) or fluid-filled blisters
- The skin may become scaly and thickened over time.
3. Dyshidrotic eczema
This condition occurs when you find small blisters on the fingers, toes, palms, or soles of the feet. It’s more likely to occur in women than in men. Dyshidrotic eczema is caused by allergic reactions, stress, exposure to chromium salt, cobalt, or nickel as well as damp feet and hands.
- Characterized by blisters which may fill with fluids
- Skin surrounding blisters may scale, flake and crack
- Blisters may be extremely itchy or painful
4. Hand Eczema
Hand Eczema occurs on the hands. It typically occurs as irritations from chemicals on the skin so most people do not identify with it as a skin disease. People working in jobs like cleaning, laundry, healthcare or hairdressing are likely to have this condition
- Hands might become red, itchy, dry or painful
- May form blisters or cracks that are painful
If you find flaky or scaly patches on the skin of the wrists, lower legs, forearms, wrist, back of the hand, bottoms of the feet, genitals or head, then you might have neurodermatitis. These conditions can occur as a result of stress or originate from other types of eczema
- Localized itchy skin like an insect bite ( sometimes caused by an insect bite)
- Patches are large, thick and scaly
- Can bleed and become infected if scratched.
6. Nummular Eczema
This condition can be caused by an allergic reaction to metals, insect bites or chemicals. If your skin isn’t hydrated, it can also occur. Unlike other kinds of eczema, this condition forms coin-shaped spots that are different from the appearances of other eczema types.
- Itchy, crusted and scaly coin-shaped spots anywhere on the skin
7. Statis Dermatitis
Statis Dermatitis usually occurs in people with circulatory problems that cause blood to pool up in the legs. Usually, statis dermatitis leads to the formation of thick, ropey damaged veins called varicose veins in the legs.
- Usually occurs in the lower part of the leg
- Begins with noticeable swellings around the legs causing it to ache or feel heavy especially after walking during the day
- Dry and itchy spots in the skin around the varicose veins
- Can lead to open sores on the feet and lower legs
How to treat Eczema
As said earlier, you need to identify your eczema triggers, which can be in the form:
- products you use,
- what you eat or drink,
- how long you spend in a shower or bath and at what temperature
- stress factors
Your doctor or allergy specialist will prescribe treatments based on these factors.
Usually, antibiotics, light therapy, corticosteroid cream, or antihistamines may be combined in your treatment.
But you must remember that eczema may remain over time. Some forms improve with age while others stay throughout your life. Therefore, finding your triggers and reducing the symptoms is important.
Wrapping up – Is Eczema a skin disease?
So, here’s the shortest answer to your question – Is Eczema a skin disease? Absolutely, however, no known cause exists for eczema, but lots of things can trigger the outbreak.
Eczema is also a chronic problem. Therefore, you can only treat the symptoms and eliminate the triggers.
If you struggle with eczema, find your eczema triggers and take measures to avoid them.
If the reactions occur, talk to your doctor about the right treatment approach to manage the symptoms.