Dermatologist Kitchener - Eczema is a type of dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis. The term is derived from the Greek language and means "to boil over." In England, about 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 terms dermatitis and eczema are synonymous and usually the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the word eczema implies a chronic condition and dermatitis refers to an acute one.
The term "eczema" covers a range of persistent skin conditions. These consist of recurring skin rashes and dryness that have connected signs of itching, dryness, crusting, flaking, bleeding, oozing, blistering and skin oedema or swelling. Sometimes, temporary skin discoloration can result. Furthermore, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process could enlarge the rash and can cause potential scarring.
Describing the indications of eczema can be rather confusing. The descriptions can comprise the possible cause, the specific appearance or the location. Many sources likewise make use of the terms atopic dermatitis that is the most common type of eczema and the word eczema interchangeably with could add to the confusion.
These classifications are ordered by the frequency of incidence.
Atopic eczema, that is likewise referred to as atopic dermatitis, infantile eczema or flexural eczema, is an allergic disease believed to have a hereditary component. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with people who likewise suffer from asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash which develops on the inside of elbows, scalp and head, on the buttocks and behind the knees. This particular form of eczema is rather common in developed countries. It could be tricky to differentiate between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories that contact dermatitis falls into is irritant and allergic. Irritant dermatitis can be caused to particular irritants including detergents like for example sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can occur as a result of a delayed reaction to certain allergen such as poison ivy or nickel. Wet cement is an example of a substance that acts as both an allergen and an irritant. Phototoxic dermatitis can take place together with other substances after exposure to sunlight. About 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.
This particular form of eczema will be worse during dryer winters and effects the trunk and the limbs more. It goes by different names, like 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 very common amongst older patients. A connected disorder is Ichthyosis.
Infants often have a condition of Cradle cap, or Seborrheic or Seborrhoeic dermatitis. This condition could also be classed as a type of eczema related directly to dandruff. It causes a dry or greasy flaking of the scalp and could likewise affect 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 thick, yellow, crusty scalp rash that is called cradle cap. This particular condition has been connected to a lack of biotin and is normally curable.
Less Common Types of Eczema
One more kind of eczema is called Dyshidrosis or dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, housewife's eczema or vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis. This type is known for only showing up on the soles, palms and sides of fingers and toes. It presents with small opaque bumps called vesicles, cracks and thickening skin are accompanied by itching that worsens at night. This is a common type of hand eczema and it gets worse during warm conditions.
Other less common kinds of eczema comprise Discoid e., Venous e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Autoeczematization, Neurodermatitis as well as other kinds which are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, like lymphoma for instance. There are several other rare eczematous disorders which exist in addition to these as well.
Some professionals have attributed eczema to the hypothesis of hygiene. The cause of eczema, according to this theory is asthma and other allergic diseases is due to an overly clean surrounding. This particular theory is supported by epidemiologic research for asthma which states that during development it is vital to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and therefore, missing out on this exposure increases the possibility for allergy and asthma.
Another theory suggested is that eczema is an allergic reaction to the excrement from house dust mites. Although 5% of individuals show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further corroboration.
Most often the diagnosis of eczema consists largely on history and physical examination. Nevertheless, several cases can require a skin biopsy.
People suffering from eczema must not receive the smallpox vaccination due to the chance of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a potentially sever and at times fatal complication.
Because there is no common cure for eczema, general treatments consist of the control of symptoms by relieving the itching and reducing the inflammation. Medications that are accessible comprise corticosteroids, hydrocortisone, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with various possible side effects, most commonly thinning the skin, though there is ongoing study in this particular area. Usually, these steroids are to be used very carefully and a little goes a long way.
Immunomodulators are one more form of treatment even though a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA due to probable possibility of lymph node cancer and skin cancer. Various expert medical groups don't agree with the FDA findings.
Some of 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 could dampen the immune system and have major side effects. To be able to be on this type of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a doctor of medicine and undergo blood tests on a regular basis.
utilizing antihistamine and other anti-itch drugs can 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. Some popular sedating antihistamines consist of Benadryl or Phenergan. Moisturizers are likewise 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 utilized, however, many health food stores offer some preparations with essential fatty acids and tea tree oil as an option.
By applying cool water via a wet washcloth, a bath or swimming, a lot of patients have found quick relief. Another proven soothing treatment is to apply an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even utilizing air blowing from an air conditioning vent.
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