All about Eczema

Eczema is a common disorder which manifests as itchy skin and red rash. In children, Atopic Dermatitis is the most common and chronic form of eczema, affecting most often the face, neck, behind the knees and inner arms.

Other common types of eczema include allergic and irritant reactions, reaction to sun or medications, and seborrheic dermatitis. A patch test is done when indicated. Eczema is not contagious even with direct skin-to-skin contact.

Frequently Asked Eczema Questions:

What Is Eczema? 

Eczema (dermatitis) is a condition that leaves the skin extremely dry. It varies greatly from person to person and is highly individualized. It is not contagious, so you do not need to worry about catching it from another person.

Are There Different Types of Eczema?  

What follows is a list of the most common types of eczema:

  • Atopic – A chronic skin condition that is identified by inflamed, itchy patches of skin.
  • Contact – A red, itchy rash that results from the patient’s contact with a foreign substance, such as Poison Ivy, and certain soaps, cosmetics, and fragrances.
  • Adult / Infantile Seborrhoeic – A scaley, itchy, patchy rash that most often affects the scalp, as well as other areas of the body, such as the nose, where grease tends to collect. 
  • Discoid – A skin condition identified by dry coin-shaped spots that may leak clear fluid. 
  • Pompholyx – A skin condition identified by the appearance of itchy, fluid-filled blisters on the soles of your feet or the palms of your hands.
  • Asteatotic – A cracked, red rash that most often affects the shins.    
  • Varicose –  A scaly rash on the lower extremities that most commonly affects elderly patients with varicose veins.    

What Are the Treatment Options for Eczema?

Emollients are one of the most important elements in helping to manage your eczema. Emollients are non-cosmetic moisturizers which come in the form of creams, ointments, lotion, and gels. They help skin to feel more comfortable, less itchy, moist and flexible.

Creams contain a mix of fat and water, making it feel light and cool on the skin. Many people prefer creams for the daytime use. All creams contain preservatives.

Ointments can be greasy, and for some people not cosmetically acceptable. However, they are great for dry and thickened skin as they hold water in. Ointments should not be used on weeping eczema.

Lotions contain more water and less fat than creams but are not extremely effective for moisturizing. They can be used for hairy areas of the body.

Another treatment is topical steroids. Topical steroids are used in short bursts and usually in conjunction with emollients. Eczema is a very common skin condition. It does affect mostly children however it can happen to anyone at any time. If any changes occur to your skin that cause concern, see your dermatologist to find out the best treatment for you.

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