Eczema is a term used to describe various types of skin inflammation which is also referred to as dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is the form of eczema that is most common and because of this many people often refer to all types of eczema as atopic dermatitis. However, one should note that atopic dermatitis is just one type of this skin disorder.
Here are some important facts that you need to know.
- Experts believe that there is a genetic predisposition at play which leads to eczema. There is a fault in the genes that causes the skin’s barrier function to not function as it normally should.
- This skin disorder affects all races and is most prevalent in babies and young children. However, adults can still have it.
- There are certain things that trigger flare ups. Triggers can either be irritants that are natural in the environment or man made. Changing temperatures as well as humidity can cause a breakout and the same can be said to certain foods, pollens and other allergens. The chemicals in soaps and perfumes can also trigger a flare-up and so can stress.
- There is no cure for eczema yet however there are treatments that can relieve you from its uncomfortable symptoms. Oral or topical corticosteroids are usually given to patients experiencing flare-ups. Antihistamines or calcineurin inhibotors also knows as immune-suppressing drugs are also used in treating symptoms of eczema.
- Although there is no cure yet for this skin disorder, there are certain things that you can do to manage the symptoms of eczema and bring down the severity of flare-ups. Keeping the skin hydrated, avoiding extreme heat and cold as well as avoiding substances that are known to be irritants can help in managing this skin condition.
- Eczema is not in any way contagious so you don’t have to worry about catching it from someone you know who has it. However, it is not uncommon for members of the same family to have eczema. This is not because one has spread the skin condition to another. The reason would be because they share certain genes and family members could have inherited the same defect in genes which partially causes eczema.
The Causes of Eczema
The exact cause of eczema is not yet determined. As mentioned earlier, partially, a genetic defect is to blame for this skin condition. Another major player is possibly a malfunction in the immune system.
Symptoms of Eczema
In most cases, eczema causes skin to become dry, red, itchy or feeling like it’s burning. How eczema looks like will differ from person to person and also according to the type of eczema. The very first giveaway is that there is intense itching. In some cases, people with this skin issue have blisters as well as oozing lesions while in some cases, patients suffer from dry and scaly or flaky skin. People with eczema who keep on scratching their skin can start seeing their skin become thicker and crusty.
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