Dermatologist Abbotsford - Dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis is referred to as eczema. The word literally means "to boil over", in the Greek language. Virtually 1 in 9 people in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the words dermatitis and eczema are synonymous and often the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the word eczema refers to a chronic condition and dermatitis refers to an acute one.
The term generally covers different persistent skin conditions including: recurring skin dryness and rashes which is connected with at least one of the following signs of itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, oozing, bleeding, blistering and skin oedema or swelling. Every so often, temporary skin discoloration may result. Additionally, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process may enlarge the rash and could result in potential scarring.
Describing the indications of eczema could be somewhat confusing. The descriptions could comprise the possible cause, the specific appearance or the location. Numerous sources also make use of the words atopic dermatitis which is the most common kind of eczema and the word eczema interchangeably with may add to the confusion.
The following classifications are ordered by incidence frequency.
Atopic eczema is known as flexural eczema, atopic dermatitis or infantile eczema. It is an allergic disease that is thought to have a genetic component. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with people who likewise have asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash that develops on the scalp and head, the inside of elbows, on the buttocks and behind the knees. This type of eczema is rather common in developed countries. It can be tricky to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories which contact dermatitis falls into is irritant and allergic. Irritant dermatitis could be caused to specific irritants consisting of detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can occur as a result of a delayed reaction to particular allergen such as poison ivy or nickel. Wet cement is an example of a substance which acts as both an allergen and an irritant. Phototoxic dermatitis could happen with other substances after sunlight exposure. Roughly 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 avoided and removed from one's environment, contact eczema can be curable.
This particular kind of eczema will be worse in dryer winters and effects the trunk and the limbs more. It goes by other names, like craquele eczema or xerotic eczema, asteatotic eczema, winter itch, craquelatum eczema or pruritus hiemalis. The itchy, tender skin resembles a dry and cracked river bed. This particular condition is extremely popular amongst older individuals. A connected disorder is Ichthyosis.
Cradle cap in babies is officially known as Seborrhoeic dermatitis or Seborrheic. This is a condition that is often classified as a form of eczema which is related closely to dandruff. It causes a dry or greasy flaking of the scalp and could likewise affect 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 thick, yellow, crusty scalp rash that is referred to as cradle cap. This condition has been associated to a lack of biotin and is generally curable.
Less Common Kinds of Eczema
Dyshidrosis is another type of eczema which also goes under the names of dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This specific condition usually shows up on the palms, soles and sides of toes and fingers. It presents with tiny opaque bumps called vesicles, thickening skin and cracks are accompanied by itching which worsens at night. This is a common type of hand eczema and it becomes worse in warm weather.
Other less common types of eczema include Venous e., Discoid e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Neurodermatitis, Autoeczematization as well as other kinds which are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, as in lymphoma for instance. There are many other rare eczematous disorders that exist in addition to these as well.
Various experts have attributed eczema to the hypothesis of hygiene. The cause of eczema, according to this particular theory is asthma and other allergic diseases is because of a very clean environment. This particular theory is supported by epidemiologic studies for asthma that states that during development it is vital to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and hence, missing out on this exposure increases the risk for allergy and asthma.
One other theory states that the excrement from house dust mites cause the allergic reaction of eczema. Although 5% of individuals show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further justification.
Usually the diagnosis of eczema consists largely on history and physical examination. Nevertheless, some cases may need a skin biopsy.
Individuals who have eczema should not receive the smallpox vaccination due to the chance of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a possibly sever and sometimes fatal complication.
Because of the fact there is no known treatment for eczema; treatments are generally based on controlling the signs by reducing inflammation and relieving the itching. There are some medications obtainable like for instance hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with various probable side effects, most usually thinning the skin, although there is ongoing research in this field. Typically, these steroids are to be utilized really carefully and a little goes a long way.
Immunomodulators are one more type of treatment even though a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA because of probable chance of lymph node cancer and skin cancer. Different professional medical groups don't agree with the FDA findings.
Several severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. These are occasionally prescribed and can yield dramatic improvements to the patient's eczema but because they dampen the immune system, they can have major side effects. In order to be on this type of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a doctor of medicine and undergo regular blood tests.
The itching component of eczema could be counteracted utilizing antihistamine and various anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce damage and irritation to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Some popular sedating antihistamines comprise Phenergan or Benadryl. 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 utilized, however, many health food stores offer some preparations along with essential fatty acids and tea tree oil as an alternative.
By applying cool water via swimming, a wet washcloth or a bath, a lot of patients have found quick relief. One more proven soothing treatment is to apply an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even using air blowing from an air conditioning vent.
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