Dermatologist Owen Sound - Eczema is a type of dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis. The term comes from the Greek language and translates to "to boil over." In England, roughly 1 in 9 individuals or an estimated 5,773,700 people have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the terms eczema and dermatitis are synonymous and frequently the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the word eczema refers to a chronic condition and dermatitis implies an acute one.
The word "eczema" covers various persistent skin conditions. These consist of recurring skin rashes and dryness which have connected symptoms of itching, dryness, flaking, crusting, bleeding, oozing, skin oedema or swelling and blistering. Every so often, temporary skin discoloration may result. Also, scratching open a lesion that is in the healing process may enlarge the rash and can cause possible scarring.
Describing eczema can be confusing. It could be described by possible cause, by specific appearance or by location. Many sources likewise utilize the words atopic dermatitis that is the most common kind of eczema and the word eczema interchangeably with could add to the confusion.
These classifications are ordered by the frequency of incidence.
Atopic eczema, that is also known as atopic dermatitis, infantile eczema or flexural eczema, is an allergic disease believed to have a hereditary component. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with people 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 nations. It can be hard to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis falls into two categories: allergic and irritant. Irritant dermatitis can result directly from a reaction to something particular like for example a detergent like sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis could take place as a result of a delayed reaction to some 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 happen with various substances after sunlight exposure. Approximately three quarters of contact eczema cases are the irritant kind. This is the most common occupational skin disease. If traces of the offending substance could be removed from one's environment and avoided, contact eczema can be curable.
There is a type of eczema which becomes worse during dry winter weather and usually affects the limbs and the trunk. It is referred to as xerotic eczema or craquele eczema, asteatotic eczema, winter itch, craquelatum eczema or pruritus hiemalis. The itchy, tender skin resembles a cracked and dry river bed. This condition is very popular among older people. A connected disorder is Ichthyosis.
Cradle cap within infants is officially known as Seborrhoeic dermatitis or Seborrheic. This is a condition which is usually classified as a form of eczema that is connected closely to dandruff. It causes a greasy or dry peeling of the scalp and can also have an effect on the eyebrows, face and occasionally 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 referred to as cradle cap. This particular condition has been related to a lack of biotin and is normally curable.
Less Common Types of Eczema
Dyshidrosis is one more type of eczema that also goes under the names of pompholyx eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This specific condition usually shows up on the palms, soles 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 form of hand eczema and it becomes worse in warm weather.
Discoid e., Venous e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Autoeczematization and Neurodermatitis are other less common forms of eczema, 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 too.
Some attribute eczema to the hygiene hypothesis. This theory postulates that the cause of asthma, eczema and other allergic diseases is because of a very clean surrounding. This theory is supported by epidemiologic research for asthma which states that during development it is vital to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and thus, missing out on this exposure increases the possibility for allergy and asthma.
One more theory suggested is that eczema is an allergic reaction to the excrement from house dust mites. Though 5% of people show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further justification.
Normally the diagnosis of eczema consists mostly on physical examination and history. Nonetheless, several cases could need a skin biopsy.
People suffering from eczema should not receive the smallpox vaccination due to the chance of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a potentially sever and sometimes fatal complication.
Because there is no common cure for eczema, general treatments include the control of indications by reducing inflammation and relieving the itching. Medications which are available consist of hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with several potential side effects, most normally thinning the skin, though there is ongoing research in this particular field. Normally, these steroids are to be utilized very carefully and a little goes a long way.
Due to potential possibility of lymph node cancers and skin cancers, a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA on utilizing immunomodulators. Various expert medical groups disagree with the FDA findings.
Amongst the more severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. Sometimes 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. In order to be on this kind of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a medical doctor and go through regular blood tests.
The itching component of eczema can be counteracted making use of antihistamine and various anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce damage and irritation to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Various popular sedating antihistamines consist of Benadryl or Phenergan. Moisturizers are likewise applied to the skin 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 together with essential fatty acids and tea tree oil as an alternative.
Many patients have found fast acting relief by applying cool water via a bath, swimming or a wet washcloth. utilizing an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even utilizing air blowing from an air conditioning vent has proven soothing.
Click to Download the pdf