Dermatologist Oshawa - Eczema is a kind of dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis. The word is derived from the Greek language and translates to "to boil over." In England, approximately 1 in 9 individuals or a projected 5,773,700 people have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the terms eczema and dermatitis are synonymous and frequently the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the term eczema refers to a chronic condition and dermatitis implies an acute one.
The word "eczema" covers different persistent skin conditions. These consist of recurring skin rashes and dryness that have connected signs of dryness, itching, flaking, crusting, oozing, bleeding, skin oedema or swelling and blistering. At times, temporary skin discoloration can result. Furthermore, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process may enlarge the rash and can lead to potential scarring.
Describing eczema can be confusing. It could be described by specific appearance, by location or by possible cause. Lots of sources likewise utilize the terms atopic dermatitis that is the most common type of eczema and the term eczema interchangeably with could add to the confusion.
The following classifications are ordered by incidence frequency.
Atopic eczema, which is likewise referred to 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 members who likewise have asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash which develops on the inside of elbows, scalp and head, behind the knees and on the buttocks. This particular kind of eczema is rather common in developed nations. It can be difficult to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis falls into two categories: irritant and allergic. Irritant dermatitis can result directly from a reaction to anything specific like for example a detergent like sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis could take place as a result of a delayed reaction to certain allergen like poison ivy or nickel. Wet cement is an example of a substance which acts as both an irritant and an allergen. Phototoxic dermatitis could happen with different substances after exposure to sunlight. Around three quarters of contact eczema cases are the irritant type. 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.
There is a kind of eczema that becomes worse in dry winter weather conditions and normally affects the trunk and the limbs. It is referred to 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 particular condition is extremely common amongst older patients. A related disorder is Ichthyosis.
Cradle cap in infants is officially referred to as Seborrhoeic dermatitis or Seborrheic. This is a condition that is often classified as a kind of eczema which is connected closely to dandruff. It causes a dry or greasy peeling of the scalp and can even have an effect on the face, eyebrows and at times the trunk. This is considered a harmless condition except in severe conditions of cradle cap. In newborns, it presents as a yellow, crusty, thick scalp rash which is called cradle cap. This condition has been connected to a lack of biotin and is generally curable.
Less Common Types of Eczema
One more type of eczema is known as Dyshidrosis or dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This form is known for only showing up on the soles, palms and sides of fingers and toes. It presents with small opaque bumps called vesicles, thickening skin and cracks are accompanied by itching which becomes worse at night. This is a common type of hand eczema and it gets worse in warm weather.
Other less common kinds of eczema include Discoid e., Venous e., DermaDermatitisetiformis or Duhring's Disease, Neurodermatitis, Autoeczematization as well as other kinds that are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, like 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 particular theory is supported by epidemiologic studies for asthma that states that during development it is very important to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and hence, missing out on this exposure increases the risk for asthma and allergy.
One more theory suggested is that eczema is an allergic reaction to the excrement from house dust mites. Even though 5 percent of people show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further justification.
Normally, the diagnosis of eczema is based mainly on history and physical examination, however, in some cases, a skin biopsy may prove useful.
People who have eczema must not be given the smallpox vaccination due to the risk of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a possibly sever and sometimes fatal complication.
Due to the fact there is no known treatment for eczema; treatments are usually based on controlling the symptoms by relieving the itching and reducing inflammation. There are several medications obtainable like hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with some potential side effects, most usually thinning the skin, although there is ongoing research in this area. Usually, these steroids are to be used really carefully and a little goes a long way.
Immunomodulators are one more kind of treatment although a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA due to probable possibility of skin cancer and lymph node cancer. Different expert medical groups disagree with the FDA findings.
Among 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. However, these could dampen the immune system and have major side effects. To be able to be on this form of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a physician and go through regular blood tests.
utilizing antihistamine and different anti-itch drugs could help in the treatment of the itching component of eczema. By initiating a sedative effect, these work to reduce damage and irritation to the skin. Various popular sedating antihistamines include Phenergan or Benadryl. Moisturizers are likewise applied to the skin in order to help the soothing and healing 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 together with tea tree oil and essential fatty acids as an option.
A lot of patients have found fast acting relief by applying cool water via swimming, a wet washcloth or a bath. 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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