Types of eczema: Symptoms, treatment and causes

by exzma Admin April 28, 2020 5 min read

The term “eczema” is derived from a Greek word meaning “to boil over,”It is also called dermatitis. Eczema is a non-contagious, inflammatory skin condition that causes the skin to become red and itchy. It may either get better or worsen over time. Though the main cause is believed to be genetic factors, pollution and increased hygiene (using too much soap, fragrances, etc.)  also play a vital role.

Though eczema and psoriasis are like twins having a similar look, deep down, they are fundamentally different. There are different types of eczema, ranging from mild, moderate, to severe. It’s important to understand its type, symptoms and triggers to help you recognize and treat your condition appropriately

What are the types of eczema?

  1. Atopic Dermatitis
  2. Irritant Dermatitis
  3. Contact Dermatitis
  4. Stasis Dermatitis
  5. Dyshidrotic Dermatitis
  6. Nummular Dermatitis
  7. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis: 

Atopic denotes to an allergy. This type is chronic and inflammatory. It occurs when the immune system goes into overactive in response to an irritant or allergen inside or outside the body. Research shows that people who come from families with a history of allergy, rashes, asthma and hay fever are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis themselves. It tends to begin in early childhood and it might improve or get worse in the future. Typically, rashes occur on the cheeks, neck, elbow and knee creases, and ankles.

Irritant dermatitis:

This occurs when the skin is repeatedly exposed to environmental factors like severe heat and cold resulting in the loss of moisture in the skin.

Contact dermatitis:

This can occur after a person touches an allergy-triggering substance repeatedly. An example of this would be poison ivy, nickel, cosmetics. The hands are specifically vulnerable to developing this condition.

Stasis:

This can be developed in people who have poor circulation in the veins of the legs. It can cause weeping and crusting of the dermis. Over time, this also can cause the dermis to develop brown stains.

Pompholyx (Dyshidrotic):

This affects the hands and feet by developing itchy rashes or blisters or scaly patches on the sides of the fingers or palms and toes or soles. Sometimes chronic and painful deep cracks may also appear. 

Nummular:

This causes coin-shaped red plaques on the lower legs, back of the hands, hips, forearms, and lower backs. Men are more vulnerable to this type, though the reason is unknown. However, exposure to chemicals and metals raises the chance.

Seborrheic:

Better known as dandruff, this produces a rash on the scalp, ears, face, eyebrows and centre of the chest and causes the skin to fall off in flakes.  However, in infants it can produce a weepy, oozy rash and can be quite extensive, involving the entire body. This may occur due to an overgrowth of a type of yeast that typically lives in these areas, as well as an overgrowth and rapid flaking of cells on the scalp.

What causes Eczema?

    • Disrupting the ability of the dermis to act as an effective barrier may lead to loss of moisture, causing dryness and the entry of irritants, bacteria and allergens, which can result in inflammation and infection. 
    • It is commonly found in families with a history of other allergies or asthma.
    • Genetic mutations that affect the functioning of the skin's barrier.
    • Unwanted inflammatory response in the dermis due to dysfunction of the immune system.The conditions called trigger factors can cause rashes to flare-up (i.e. worsen). These trigger factors can be:
      • Irritants: Irritants such as harsh soaps and detergents, chemicals, perfumes and fragrances, and skincare products that contain fragrance or alcohol. Fabrics, such as wool, synthetic and tight clothing can also irritate the skin.
      • Allergens: Allergens may include pet hair, moulds, dandruff, pollens, or foods (in rare cases) that can trigger or worsen the symptoms.
      • Climate and environment: Low humidity can make the skin dry and itchy. Heat and high humidity cause sweating and worsens the rashes.
      • Stress: Stress can also trigger flare-ups in some people with this condition. 
      • Hormones: The hormonal change during pregnancy and at certain points in the menstrual cycle can increase symptoms in women.

      What are the symptoms of Eczema?

      The classic symptoms include:

        • Itching: Scratching and itching may cause rawness and possible infections to develop. 
        • Dark coloured patches:Inflammation can disturb the production of pigment causing dark patches.
        • Sensitive, dry: The skin becomes sensitive and dry with grainy appearance, causing tiny fluid-filled blisters.
        • Inflamed, red: Blood flow through the blood vessels in the inflamed affected area causes redness. 
        • Crusting or oozing, leathery, scaly or rough patches and swelling are other symptoms.

        They can be all over the body or only in a few spots. At times, the symptoms can be painful causing severe itchiness and often interrupting sleep. Scratching too much might lead to an infection.

        Based on the age factors, the location may change. In babies and young children, it is usually found on the cheeks, neck and bending areas such as insides of the elbows and on the knees. In older children and adults, it appears typically on the hands and feet, the arms and on the back of knees.

        What is the treatment for eczema?

        The first step in treating eczema is to keep the trigger factors under control. Each type of eczema needs a specific type of therapy. Treatment will be based on the type of eczema, its severity, individual’s age, symptoms and current state of health. No one treatment is suitable for all people. The treatment aims to reduce itching and discomfort and to prevent additional flare-ups and gradually heal the affected area.

        Treatment options include:

        1. Know how to prevent: This is the first step and best way to control it. So, it is important to identify the trigger factors like irritants and allergens and avoid it completely. It’s better to be careful with what you eat and get to know your family food allergies. 
        2. Bathcare: The skin health should be supported by taking lukewarm baths and avoid hot water baths as it may worsen the condition. It is advisable to pat dry after a bath and wear soft cotton fabrics. 
        3. Avoid scratching: Scratching the skin may aggravate the condition. It is desirable to keep your nails short and refrain from scratching. Exzma Skin Care Premium Relief Gel is best used to immediately relief itching.
        4. The right skincare products:It is advisable to use the best skincare products for eczema. Natural moisturizers, gels, oils, etc. can be used to pamper your skin. Exzma Skincare Ultimate Premium Relief setmade of essential and plants oil and organic ingredients can be the best solution for all your eczema problems. It has the healing ability to promote the production of new tissues and stimulates the growth of healthy skin. It keeps your skin moisturized and protects it against external triggers. 

        Even after the affected area is healed, it is essential to keep looking after it, as it may easily become irritated again. Having a good moisturizing procedure can help reduce the severity of your flare-ups. With the increasing number of products in the market, it’s important to narrow down your choices and find a genuine product.

         


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