Eczema

Eczema

Eczema is an inflammatory rash which has its main symptom as intense itching. Also known as dermatitis or atopic dermatitis and is a chronic condition. It is mainly seen in children and can start at a very early age in life, but adults of any age group can be affected. People affected usually have, what is known as an atopic tendency. They suffer from related conditions such asthma and hay fever.

The appearance of this condition on skin can vary among individuals and can vary depending on the age of the individual. It can vary from red raised weepy and blistery patches of skin to dry scaly and thickened patches of skin which can be darker than normal skin. The extent can range from occasional scattered patches sometimes only in elbow and knee creases to widespread dryness and inflamed patches over the skin.

The cause of eczema is not entirely clear but is considered to be due to impaired barrier function of the skin. It is usually aggravated by irritants and allergens also known as trigger factors. Irritants such as soaps and detergents can cause problems in certain occupations such as care giving , hairdressing, industrial and domestic cleaning.

Treatment is usually directed at reducing exposure to trigger factors, use of barrier creams and use of topical steroids. Other treatments may include antibiotics and steroid sparing creams. For widespread and severe eczema, patients are sometimes treated with treatments such as light therapy and use of oral tablets if nothing else helps in severe eczema.