Eczema All About it and How to Treat it
Eczema is an often contracted skin infection that can be found in young and old alike. It is a problem of the upper layers of the skin and is in fact a relative of dermatitis. It can manifest as persistent rashes, or as discoloration and dryness, and is common in children.
In most people the condition will retreat and disappear as the patient grows older, but it is frequently known for Eczema to recur over the lifetime of the sufferer. There is currently no certain cure for eczema, but there are treatments one can use that will alleviate the symptoms and help suffering in the patient.
Types of eczema and the causes:
There are several different versions of eczema and a mixture of different factors that influence the development of the condition.
Atopic eczema is the most common form of the condition, and is very prominent in people who are susceptible to allergies. It will be seen in the very young and affects the face and neck, hands and feet, and the ankles and torso. When it manifests in adult patients it is found in the bends of the joints.
Contact with many products detergents and soaps and often water can end in Contact Dermatitis as the skin reacts to the substance, and this variety of eczema can also be as a result of an allergic reaction.
Sebhorrheic Dermatitis is a form that affects children, and results in infection of the skin on the head and, in many cases, the eyebrows, while Asteatotic Eczema appears as dry skin that has evolved into full blown eczema. This variety affects generally the elderly and is felt most during times of cold and dry weather.
Another type of Eczema common with older patients is Varicose Eczema which appears on the skin around the ankles. Varicose Eczema will result in ulcers if not thoroughly treated and is highlighted by itchy and inflamed skin in the affected area.
The other version is Discoid Eczema, a variety that is common in middle aged men and occurs as rashes pink or red, or sometimes brown which become stiff, itch and begin to weep.
Factors triggering eczema:
Many of the factors instrumental in the appearance of eczema are those that also cause allergic reactions, in particular soaps and perfumes, pollen and dust mites, rough clothes and bubble baths and very often cosmetics. Diet can also be instrumental in setting eczema in motion as a variety of foods have been shown to induce allergic reactions, and it can sometimes be the case that contact with water, certain weather conditions and temperature fluctuations are the culprit.
The reason is very often different in each occurrence, and the above are just a selection of the more commonly seen ones.
The usual symptoms of eczema:
There are a lot of symptoms associated with the onset of eczema, but each patient may display unique symptoms on a case-by-case basis depending on severity and environmental conditions. As eczema is a skin problem it is fair to say some level of irritation will occur, especially if the patient scratches the skin.
The most frequent symptoms of eczema are the itching and irritation often difficult in nature along with dryness of the skin and blistering, plus occurrences of cracked skin and evident inflammation.
In rare cases bleeding might occur and a burning sensation could also be a symptom of Eczema. It is also not uncommon for the skin to change in color or swell.
Treatments for Eczema
As eczema occurs for very different reasons in each patient it is not yet possible to discover a trouble free cure for the condition. One sufferer will react in a different way to many factors, thus making successful treatment in one case unsuccessful in another.
The purpose of treatment is generally to give the skin back its original look and to minimize any visible scarring, treat the symptoms and try to reduce the chances of recurrence.
A well intended skin care regime is a very good bar against eczema as keeping the skin clean and in good health is important in preventing infection. Regular bathing is also sensible as the moisture is important to the skin for successful survival. Keeping the skin moist with recommended moisturizing creams is also a very effective method of treating eczema.
Furthermore, keeping sweat to a minimum, avoiding very dry places, checking that clothing is well rinsed following washing and avoiding any things that contain alcohol are prescribed courses of action.
Keeping stress levels under control, sleeping properly and keeping the mind and body working properly have also been proven to help eczema sufferers, while the most important thing to remember is to try as hard as one can not to scratch the problematic area as this simply adds to the problem.
This article was written by A. Broussard, a free-lance journalist currently working in the medical field.