Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It affects people of all ages, including children. But what is eczema, and how different is it from other skin conditions? Well, to find out more, continue reading this article as it explains more details about this frustrating skin disease.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that causes the skin to become red, inflamed, and itchy. It commonly appears as dry or scaly patches anywhere on the body. Eczema is a chronic condition, meaning that it is a long-term condition that will not disappear overnight, and there are sometimes when it can improve or worsen. It’s worth mentioning that eczema is not contagious, so you cannot catch it from someone else.
What are the different types of eczema?
There are many different types of eczema. The most common ones include:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
- Discoid dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis
What causes eczema?
The actual cause of eczema is still unknown. However, doctors believe that eczema is caused by a combination of genes and environmental factors. Individuals with eczema, such as atopic dermatitis, usually have inherited it from their parents or another person in their family.
Studies show that eczema is more common in women than in men.
The most common eczema triggers include:
- Allergens, including dust mites, pollen, mold, etc
- Soaps and detergents such as shampoo, hand soap, etc
- Certain materials such as wool or synthetic fabrics
- Weather conditions such as cold, hot, dry, etc
Symptoms of eczema
The symptoms of eczema can vary depending on the type of eczema a person is experiencing. However, the most common symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry skin
- Cracked skin
- Fluid-filled blisters
Can eczema spread?
As mentioned earlier, eczema is not contagious, so it cannot spread from one person to another. Some people only experience eczema when they are old. But this doesn’t mean that they have contacted the disease from another person; it only means that their eczema has only chosen to flare up just now. Again, eczema is prevalent in children, but they outgrow it in their adulthood.
In which area does eczema usually occur?
Each person will have different areas on the body where their eczema develops. But the most spots where eczema usually occurs include:
- Creases of the elbow
- Behind the knees
Can your diet trigger eczema?
Food allergy may not only make your stomach do backflips, but it can also affect your skin. If you are allergic to peanuts, cow’s milk, wheat, soya, eggs, and any other food that may trigger your eczema, it may be good to change your diet and avoid these foods.
Can eczema be cured?
Currently, eczema cannot be cured but there are eczema treatments available, which can help to manage the symptoms when they occur. These treatments can be creams, ointments or oils such as dry skin oil, which the patient can apply to the areas affected to hydrate the skin and reduce the symptoms.
How to manage eczema at home
You can manage your eczema by:
- Avoiding scratching the skin since it can lead to more inflammation
- Moisturizing your skin as often as possible
- Avoiding irritants or allergens that trigger eczema
- Protecting your skin against sun rays as much as you can
With all the details mentioned here about eczema, we hope that we have helped you understand better this common skin condition and how you can keep it under control. It is always good to talk o a dermatologist, especially if you need more advice regarding how to treat eczema.