Dermatologist Charlottetown - Dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis is referred to as eczema. The term literally means "to boil over", in the Greek language. Practically 1 in 9 individuals in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the words dermatitis and eczema are synonymous and usually the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the term eczema implies a chronic condition and dermatitis implies an acute one.
The word "eczema" covers a range of persistent skin conditions. These consist of recurring skin dryness and rashes that have associated signs of dryness, itching, flaking, crusting, bleeding, oozing, blistering and skin oedema or swelling. Every now and then, temporary skin discoloration can result. Moreover, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process can enlarge the rash and could result in probable scarring.
Describing eczema could be confusing. It could be described by location, by possible cause or by specific appearance. Lots of sources also make use of the words atopic dermatitis which is the most common form of eczema and the word eczema interchangeably with may add to the confusion.
The following classifications are ordered by incidence frequency.
Atopic eczema, which is also called flexural eczema, atopic dermatitis or infantile eczema, is an allergic disease thought 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, head and scalp, behind the knees and on the buttocks. This kind of eczema is rather common in developed nations. It could be tricky to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories that contact dermatitis falls into is allergic and irritant. Irritant dermatitis can be caused to particular irritants including detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can happen as a result of a delayed reaction to some allergen such as nickel or poison ivy. Wet cement is an example of a substance that acts as both an irritant and an allergen. Phototoxic dermatitis could happen along with other substances after sunlight exposure. Approximately three quarters of contact eczema cases are the irritant kind. 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 which worsens during dry winter conditions and usually affects the trunk and the limbs. It is referred to as xerotic eczema or craquele eczema, winter itch, asteatotic eczema, craquelatum eczema or pruritus hiemalis. The tender, itchy skin resembles a dry and cracked river bed. This particular condition is very popular among older individuals. A connected disorder is Ichthyosis.
Cradle cap within infants is officially referred to as Seborrhoeic dermatitis or Seborrheic. This is a condition which is normally classified as a form of eczema which is related directly to dandruff. It causes a greasy or dry peeling of the scalp and could likewise have an effect on the face, eyebrows and occasionally 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 that is known as cradle cap. This condition has been associated to a lack of biotin and is generally curable.
Less Common Types of Eczema
Dyshidrosis is one more type of eczema which also goes under the names of dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, housewife's eczema or vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis. This specific condition normally shows up on the palms, soles and sides of fingers and toes. It presents with small opaque bumps called vesicles, thickening skin and cracks are accompanied by itching that becomes worse at nighttime. This is a common type of hand eczema and it becomes worse in warm conditions.
Venous e., Discoid e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Autoeczematization and Neurodermatitis are other less common types of eczema, which are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, like lymphoma for example. There are various other rare eczematous disorders which exist in addition to these also.
Some attribute eczema to the hygiene hypothesis. This particular theory postulates that the cause of eczema, asthma as well as other allergic diseases is due to an overly clean environment. This particular theory is supported by epidemiologic studies for asthma that states that during development it is essential to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and therefore, missing out on this exposure increases the risk for allergy and asthma.
Another theory suggested is that eczema is an allergic reaction to the excrement from house dust mites. Even though 5 percent of individuals show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further corroboration.
Normally the diagnosis of eczema consists mostly on history and physical examination. Nonetheless, some cases could need a skin biopsy.
Due to the possibility of developing eczema vaccinatum, individuals who have eczema should not be given the smallpox vaccination. This is a possibly sever and sometimes fatal complication.
Because there is no common treatment for eczema, general treatments comprise the control of indications by reducing inflammation and relieving the itching. Medications which are offered comprise corticosteroids, hydrocortisone, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with some probable side effects, most usually thinning the skin, even though there is ongoing study in this particular area. Typically, these steroids are to be used really carefully and a little goes a long way.
Immunomodulators are one more form of cure even if a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA because of probable risk of lymph node cancer and skin cancer. Various professional medical groups don't agree with the FDA findings.
Several severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. These are occasionally prescribed and can yield dramatic improvements to the patient's eczema but as they dampen the immune system, they can have major side effects. To be able to be on this form of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a doctor of medicine and go through blood tests regularly.
The itching component of eczema could be counteracted making use of antihistamine and other anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce irritation and damage to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Several popular sedating antihistamines include Phenergan or Benadryl. 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 also utilized, however, many health food stores provide 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. Making use of an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even making use of air blowing from an air conditioning vent has proven soothing.
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