Dermatologist Saskatoon - 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. Virtually 1 in 9 people in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with eczema at some point in their lives. In some languages, the words eczema and dermatitis are synonymous and frequently the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the term eczema refers to a chronic condition and dermatitis refers to an acute one.
The word generally covers different persistent skin conditions including: recurring skin dryness and rashes which is connected with at least one of the following indications of itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, oozing, bleeding, skin oedema or swelling and blistering. Every so often, temporary skin discoloration could result. In addition, scratching open a lesion that is in the healing process could enlarge the rash and can cause potential scarring.
Describing eczema can be confusing. It may be described by possible cause, by specific appearance or by location. Numerous sources also use the terms atopic dermatitis which is the most common form of eczema and the term eczema interchangeably with may add to the confusion.
The following classifications are ordered by incidence frequency.
Atopic eczema is referred to as flexural eczema, atopic dermatitis or infantile eczema. It is an allergic disease which is thought to have a hereditary element. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with people who likewise have asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash which develops on the scalp and head, the inside of elbows, on the buttocks and behind the knees. This kind of eczema is rather common in developed countries. It can be hard to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories which contact dermatitis falls into is irritant and allergic. Irritant dermatitis may be caused to specific irritants comprising detergents like for example sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can take place as a result of a delayed reaction to particular allergen like for instance poison ivy or nickel. Wet cement is an example of a substance that acts as both an irritant and an allergen. Phototoxic dermatitis can take place along with various substances after exposure to sunlight. 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 can be avoided and removed from one's environment, contact eczema can be curable.
This type of eczema will be worse in dryer winters and effects the trunk and the limbs more. It goes by other names, such as craquele eczema or xerotic eczema, asteatotic eczema, winter itch, pruritus hiemalis or craquelatum eczema. The tender, itchy skin resembles a cracked and dry river bed. This condition is extremely popular among older patients. A connected disorder is Ichthyosis.
Cradle cap in infants is officially referred to as Seborrhoeic dermatitis or Seborrheic. This is a condition that is often classified as a kind of eczema which is connected closely to dandruff. It causes a dry or greasy peeling of the scalp and can likewise have an effect on the face, eyebrows and sometimes 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 referred to as cradle cap. This particular condition has been associated to a lack of biotin and is normally curable.
Less Common Forms of Eczema
One more type of eczema is referred to as Dyshidrosis or dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This kind is known for just showing up on the soles, palms and sides of toes and fingers. It presents with tiny opaque bumps referred to as vesicles, cracks and thickening skin are accompanied by itching which becomes worse at night. This is a common kind of hand eczema and it gets worse in warm weather 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, as in lymphoma for instance. There are several other rare eczematous disorders that exist in addition to these also.
Some attribute eczema to the hygiene hypothesis. This theory postulates that the cause of asthma, eczema as well as other allergic diseases is due to an overly clean environment. This particular theory is supported by epidemiologic studies for asthma which states that during development it is very important 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 justification.
Usually the diagnosis of eczema consists largely on physical examination and history. Nevertheless, some cases can need a skin biopsy.
People suffering from eczema must not be given the smallpox vaccination because of the chance of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a possibly sever and sometimes fatal complication.
Since there is no common treatment for eczema, general treatments consist of the control of symptoms by reducing inflammation and relieving the itching. Medications which are offered consist of hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, injectable or oral corticosteroids. These come with some potential side effects, most usually thinning the skin, though there is ongoing research in this particular area. Typically, these steroids are to be used very carefully and a little goes a long way.
Due to possible possibility of lymph node cancers and skin cancers, a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA on using immunomodulators. Different professional medical organizations don't agree with the FDA findings.
Amongst the more severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. Sometimes these are prescribed and give slight to even dramatic improvements in the patient's eczema. Nonetheless, these could dampen the immune system and have major side effects. To be able to be on this kind of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a doctor of medicine and go through regular blood tests.
Using antihistamine and various anti-itch drugs can help in the treatment of the itching factor of eczema. By initiating a sedative effect, these work to reduce damage and irritation to the skin. Various popular sedating antihistamines include Benadryl or Phenergan. Moisturizers are likewise applied to the skin in order to help the soothing and healing purpose. Capsaicin applied to the skin acts as a counter irritant and hydrocortisone cream is likewise used, although, numerous health food stores provide some preparations along 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. One more proven soothing treatment is to apply an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even utilizing air blowing from an air conditioning vent.
Click to Download the pdf