Dermatologist Penticton - Dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis is referred to as eczema. The term literally means "to boil over", in the Greek language. Practically 1 in 9 individuals in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the words eczema and dermatitis are synonymous and usually the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the word eczema refers to a chronic condition and dermatitis implies an acute one.
The term generally covers different persistent skin conditions like: recurring skin rashes and dryness that is associated with at least one of the following indications of dryness and itching, crusting, flaking, oozing, bleeding, skin oedema or swelling and blistering. At times, temporary skin discoloration can result. Additionally, scratching open a lesion that is in the healing process may enlarge the rash and can cause potential scarring.
Describing the symptoms of eczema could be somewhat confusing. The descriptions can consist of the specific appearance, the location or the possible cause. Numerous sources also use the terms atopic dermatitis which is the most common form of eczema and the term eczema interchangeably with may add to the confusion.
These classifications are ordered by the frequency of incidence.
Atopic eczema is called atopic dermatitis, infantile eczema or flexural eczema. It is an allergic disease that is believed to have a hereditary factor. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with individuals who also suffer from asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash which develops on the head and scalp, the inside of elbows, on the buttocks and behind the knees. This particular kind of eczema is quite common in developed nations. It could be hard to differentiate between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories which contact dermatitis falls into is irritant and allergic. Irritant dermatitis may be caused to particular irritants including detergents like for instance sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis could happen as a result of a delayed reaction to some allergen like for example nickel or poison ivy. Wet cement is an example of a substance that acts as both an allergen and an irritant. Phototoxic dermatitis can take place with other substances after sunlight exposure. Around three quarters of contact eczema cases are the irritant kind. This is the most common occupational skin disease. If traces of the offending substance can be avoided and removed from one's environment, contact eczema can be curable.
There is a form of eczema which worsens in dry winter climate and normally affects the trunk and the limbs. It is referred to as 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 among older people. A related disorder is Ichthyosis.
Cradle cap within infants is officially known as Seborrheic or Seborrhoeic dermatitis. This is a condition which is usually classified as a form of eczema that is related closely to dandruff. It causes a greasy or dry peeling of the scalp and could likewise affect the eyebrows, face and sometimes 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 called cradle cap. This particular condition has been related to a lack of biotin and is normally curable.
Less Common Kinds of Eczema
One more type of eczema is known as Dyshidrosis or pompholyx eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, housewife's eczema or vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis. This form is known for just showing up on the soles, palms and sides of fingers and toes. It presents with small opaque bumps referred to as vesicles, cracks and thickening skin are accompanied by itching that worsens at nighttime. This is a common kind of hand eczema and it becomes worse during warm weather conditions.
Other less common types of eczema consist of Venous e., Discoid e., DermaDermatitisetiformis or Duhring's Disease, Autoeczematization, Neurodermatitis as well as other forms that are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, as in lymphoma for instance. There are numerous other rare eczematous disorders that exist in addition to these as well.
Some attribute eczema to the hygiene hypothesis. This particular theory postulates that the cause of asthma, eczema and other allergic diseases is due to an overly clean environment. This theory is supported by epidemiologic studies for asthma that states that during development it is essential to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and thus, missing out on this exposure increases the possibility for allergy and asthma.
One other theory states that the excrement from house dust mites cause the allergic reaction of eczema. Although 5 percent of individuals show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further corroboration.
Typically, the diagnosis of eczema is based mostly on physical examination and history, although, in some cases, a skin biopsy can prove helpful.
Individuals who have 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 signs by relieving the itching and reducing the inflammation. Medications that are accessible include hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with some probable side effects, most commonly thinning the skin, though there is ongoing study in this particular field. Normally, these steroids are to be used very carefully and a little goes a long way.
Due to potential risk of skin cancers and lymph node cancers, a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA on the use of immunomodulators. Various professional medical organizations disagree with the FDA findings.
Amongst the more severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. At times these are prescribed and give slight to even dramatic improvements in the patient's eczema. Nevertheless, these can dampen the immune system and have major side effects. In order to be on this type of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a physician and undergo blood tests regularly.
The itching factor 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. Various popular sedating antihistamines comprise Phenergan or Benadryl. Moisturizers are also applied to the skin to help the soothing and healing purpose. Capsaicin applied to the skin acts as a counter irritant and hydrocortisone cream is likewise used, although, lots of health food stores offer some preparations with essential fatty acids and tea tree oil as an alternative.
By applying cool water via a wet washcloth, a bath or swimming, lots of patients have found quick relief. Another 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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