Dermatologist Vancouver - Eczema is a type of dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis. The word is derived from the Greek language and translates to "to boil over." In England, roughly 1 in 9 people or a projected 5,773,700 individuals have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the words dermatitis and eczema 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 include recurring skin dryness and rashes that have connected indications of dryness, itching, crusting, flaking, oozing, bleeding, blistering and skin oedema or swelling. At times, temporary skin discoloration may result. As well, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process could enlarge the rash and could result in possible scarring.
Describing the signs of eczema could be rather confusing. The descriptions may include the specific appearance, the location or the possible cause. Numerous sources even make use of the terms atopic dermatitis which is the most common kind of eczema and the term eczema interchangeably with could add to the confusion.
These classifications are ordered by the frequency of incidence.
Atopic eczema, which is likewise known as atopic dermatitis, infantile eczema or flexural eczema, is an allergic disease thought to have a hereditary element. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with individuals who also suffer from asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash that develops on the head and scalp, the inside of elbows, behind the knees and on the buttocks. This form of eczema is quite common in developed countries. It can be difficult to differentiate between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories which contact dermatitis falls into is allergic and irritant. Irritant dermatitis could be caused to particular irritants consisting of detergents like for example sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can take place as a result of a delayed reaction to certain allergen like for example poison ivy or nickel. Wet cement is an example of a substance which acts as both an allergen and an irritant. Phototoxic dermatitis can happen along with different substances after exposure to sunlight. Roughly three quarters of contact eczema cases are the irritant type. This is the most common occupational skin disease. If traces of the offending substance can be removed from one's environment and avoided, contact eczema could be curable.
There is a form of eczema which worsens in dry winter conditions and commonly affects the trunk and the limbs. It is known as xerotic eczema or craquele eczema, asteatotic eczema, winter itch, pruritus hiemalis or craquelatum eczema. The itchy, tender skin resembles a dry and cracked river bed. This condition is very common among older individuals. A connected disorder is Ichthyosis.
Cradle cap within infants is officially known as Seborrheic or Seborrhoeic dermatitis. This is a condition that is usually classified as a form of eczema that is associated closely to dandruff. It causes a greasy or dry flaking of the scalp and could likewise affect the eyebrows, face and at times 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 which is referred to as cradle cap. This particular condition has been connected to a lack of biotin and is normally curable.
Less Common Types of Eczema
One more type of eczema is referred to as Dyshidrosis or dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, housewife's eczema or vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis. This type is known for only showing up on the palms, toes and sides of toes and fingers. It presents with small opaque bumps called vesicles, cracks and thickening skin are accompanied by itching which worsens at night. This is a common form of hand eczema and it becomes worse during warm climate.
Other less common kinds of eczema comprise Venous e., Discoid e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Autoeczematization, Neurodermatitis as well as various kinds that are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, as in lymphoma for instance. There are various other rare eczematous disorders which exist in addition to these too.
Some attribute eczema to the hygiene hypothesis. This particular theory postulates that the cause of asthma, eczema and other allergic diseases is due to a very clean surrounding. This theory is supported by epidemiologic research meant 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 possibility for allergy and asthma.
One more theory suggested is that eczema is an allergic reaction to the excrement from house dust mites. Although 5 percent of people show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further corroboration.
Normally, the diagnosis of eczema is based mostly on history and physical examination, however, in several cases, a skin biopsy could prove useful.
People who have eczema should not be given the smallpox vaccination because of the possibility of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a potentially sever and at times fatal complication.
Due to the fact there is no known treatment for eczema; treatments are normally based on controlling the signs by reducing inflammation and relieving the itching. There are various medications accessible like for example hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with several potential side effects, most commonly thinning the skin, though there is ongoing study in this area. Usually, these steroids are to be used very carefully and a little goes a long way.
Immunomodulators are another type of cure although a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA because of probable risk of skin cancer and lymph node cancer. Various expert medical groups disagree with the FDA findings.
Several severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. These are sometimes prescribed and could yield dramatic improvements to the patient's eczema but because they dampen the immune system, they could have major side effects. To be able to be on this type of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a doctor of medicine and go through regular blood tests.
The itching element of eczema can be counteracted using antihistamine and other anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce damage and irritation to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Several popular sedating antihistamines include 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, many health food stores offer some preparations with tea tree oil and essential fatty acids as an alternative.
A lot of 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 using air blowing from an air conditioning vent has proven soothing.
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