Eczema is a group of persistent skin conditions which can affect people of all ages. It is a highly individual condition which varies from person to person and comes in many different forms. It is not contagious so it is not communicable. There are many different types of eczema. Eczema is a dry skin condition.
Atopic eczema is the commonest form of eczema and is thought to be closely linked with asthma a and hay fever. The most general symptom of atopic eczema is itchiness which is almost unbearable for the patient. Other symptoms include overall dryness of the skin, redness and inflammation. Regular scratching can also cause the skin to split, leaving it open to infection. In infected eczema the skin may crack and weep (‘wet’ eczema). Treatments are ointments to maintain skin hydration and steroids to reduce inflammation.
Irritant contact dermatitis is a type of eczema which is caused by coming into contact with frequent day to day objects, such as detergents and chemicals that irritate the skin. It usually happens on the hands, with adults. It can be avoided by keeping the irritants away.
Seborrhoeic eczema affects adults between ages 20 to 40.Its seen on the scalp as mild dandruff, however it can spread to the face ears etc. The skin starts to flake and becomes inflamed. This is caused by yeast growth, if the condition gets infected, it might need to be treated by anti fungal cream.
Dyshidrotic dermatitis occurs on the hands and palms usually, sides of the fingers, feet. This type of eczema commonly causes burning and itching and blistering rashes. Skin feels spongy and becomes soft between the fingers. Also affected areas may sweat profusely.
Neurodermatitis occurs when nerve endings in the skin become irritated and it causes a viscous itching and scratching cycle. The common causes would be insect bites or stress.
Stasis Dermatitis occurs when blood circulation becomes sluggish and this generally occurs in the foot. The poor blood flow causes fluid to build up, thus the legs swell up. An effective treatment would be to not only treat the dermatitis but also the blood circulation problem.
Nummular Dermatitis is often seen after skin injuries. One or more patches can appear which last for weeks or months. Patches can be red, pink and brown. These patches can often burn and itch. This itch can increase at night, not allowing the patient to sleep properly.
Since several types of eczemas exist, it is very important that the type gets properly diagnosed as the treatments differ for each differently.