Eczema is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough. Apart from this, blisters may sometimes occur. In fact, different stages and types of eczema affect many people all over the world.
Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin. Generally speaking, some people outgrow the condition. On the other hand, others will continue to have it throughout adulthood.
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis can vary, depending on the age of the person with the condition. Usually, atopic dermatitis occurs in infants, with dry and scaly patches appearing on the skin. Often, these patches are itchy.
Likewise, most people develop atopic dermatitis before the age of 5 years. Later, half of those who develop the condition in childhood continue to have symptoms as an adult. But, these symptoms are often different to those experienced by children.
In like manner, people with the condition will often experience periods of time when their symptoms flare up or worsen. At the same time, there will be moments when their symptoms will improve or clear up.
Symptoms in adults
- Rashes on the elbows or knees or the nape of the neck
- Rashes that cover much of the body
- Prominent rashes on the neck, face, and around the eyes
- Very dry skin
- Permanent itch
As a result, rashes in adults can be scalier than those occurring in children. In the same way, they can lead to skin infections when scratched. Moreover, adults who had them as a child but no longer experience the condition may still have dry or easily-irritated skin.
Thus, the appearance of skin affected by atopic dermatitis will depend on how much a person scratches. Also, scratching and rubbing further irritate the skin. Therefore, they increase inflammation, and make itchiness worse.
Treatment for Eczema
There is no cure for eczema. For this reason, the treatment for the condition only aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flare-ups of symptoms. In this case, doctors will suggest a plan of treatment based on an individual’s age, symptoms, and current state of health.
In the long run, for some people, eczema goes away over time. For others, it remains a lifelong condition.
Home Care for Eczema
There are many things that people with eczema can do to support skin health and ease symptoms. It includes:
- moisturizing every day
- wearing cotton and soft fabrics, and avoiding rough, scratchy fibers and tight-fitting clothing
- using a mild soap or a non-soap cleanser when washing
- air drying or patting skin dry with a towel, rather than rubbing the skin dry after bathing
- where possible, avoiding rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat
- learning and avoiding individual eczema triggers
- using a humidifier in dry or cold weather
- keeping fingernails short to prevent scratching from breaking the skin
Medications for Eczema
There are several medications that doctors can prescribe to treat the symptoms of eczema. It includes:
- Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments
- Systemic corticosteroids
- Antiviral and antifungal medications
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors
- Barrier repair moisturizers
Though the condition itself is not yet curable, there should be a particular treatment plan to suit different symptoms. Evidently, even after an area of skin has healed, it is important to keep looking after it, as it may become irritated again.