Dermatologist Sudbury - Dermatitis or inflammation of the outer layer of the skin called 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 dermatitis and eczema are synonymous and frequently the two conditions are classified together. In other languages, the word eczema refers to a chronic condition and dermatitis refers to an acute one.
The term "eczema" covers different persistent skin conditions. These include recurring skin dryness and rashes that have associated signs of itching, dryness, crusting, flaking, oozing, bleeding, blistering and skin oedema or swelling. Every now and then, temporary skin discoloration may result. Additionally, scratching open a lesion which is in the healing process may enlarge the rash and could lead to potential scarring.
Describing eczema could be confusing. It may be described by possible cause, by specific appearance or by location. Many sources likewise utilize the words atopic dermatitis that is the most common kind of eczema and the term eczema interchangeably with could add to the confusion.
These classifications are ordered by the frequency of incidence.
Atopic eczema is known as infantile eczema, flexural eczema or atopic dermatitis. It is an allergic disease that is thought to have a hereditary component. Atopic eczema is prominent in families with people who likewise suffer from asthma. There tends to be an itchy rash which develops on the scalp and head, the inside of elbows, behind the knees and on the buttocks. This particular kind of eczema is somewhat common in developed countries. It could be hard to distinguish between irritant contact dermatitis.
The categories that contact dermatitis falls into is irritant and allergic. Irritant dermatitis can be caused to specific irritants including detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate. Allergic dermatitis can happen as a result of a delayed reaction to certain allergen like for example nickel or poison ivy. Wet cement is an example of a substance that acts as both an irritant and an allergen. Phototoxic dermatitis could happen together 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 particular type of eczema would be worse during dryer winters and effects the trunk and the limbs more. It goes by different 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 common amongst older individuals. A connected disorder is Ichthyosis.
Infants often have a condition of Cradle cap, or Seborrhoeic dermatitis or Seborrheic. This particular condition can likewise be classed as a kind of eczema connected directly to dandruff. It causes a dry or greasy flaking of the scalp and can likewise have an effect on the eyebrows, face 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 which is called cradle cap. This particular condition has been connected to a lack of biotin and is normally curable.
Less Common Kinds of Eczema
Another kind of eczema is referred to as Dyshidrosis or pompholyx eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis or housewife's eczema. This type is known for just showing up on the palms, toes and sides of toes and fingers. It presents with small opaque bumps called vesicles, cracks and thickening skin are accompanied by itching that becomes worse at night. This is a common form of hand eczema and it becomes worse in warm weather.
Other less common forms of eczema consist of Discoid e., Venous e., Duhring's Disease or DermaDermatitisetiformis, Neurodermatitis, Autoeczematization as well as other forms that are overlaid by viral infections. Some eczemas result from underlying disease, as in lymphoma for example. There are numerous other rare eczematous disorders that exist in addition to these also.
Various experts have attributed eczema to the hypothesis of hygiene. The cause of eczema, according to this particular theory is asthma and other allergic diseases is because of a very clean environment. This theory is supported by epidemiologic research for asthma that states that during development it is very important to be exposed to bacteria and immune system modulators and hence, missing out on this exposure increases the possibility for asthma and allergy.
One other theory states that the excrement from house dust mites cause the allergic reaction of eczema. Although 5 percent of people show antibodies to the mites, the hypothesis awaits further justification.
Most often the diagnosis of eczema consists mostly on history and physical examination. However, several cases could need a skin biopsy.
Individuals suffering from eczema must not receive the smallpox vaccination due to the possibility of developing eczema vaccinatum. This is a possibly sever and at times fatal complication.
Because of the fact there is no known cure for eczema; treatments are usually based on controlling the indications by relieving the itching and reducing inflammation. There are several medications existing like for instance corticosteroids, hydrocortisone, oral or injectable corticosteroids. These come with various potential side effects, most normally thinning the skin, even if there is ongoing research in this particular area. Usually, these steroids are to be used really carefully and a little goes a long way.
Due to potential possibility of lymph node cancers and skin cancers, a public health advisory has been issued by the FDA on using immunomodulators. Different expert medical groups don't agree with the FDA findings.
Amongst the more severe cases of eczema are treated with immunosuppressant drugs. At times these are prescribed and give slight to even dramatic improvements in the patient's eczema. Nonetheless, these can dampen the immune system and have major side effects. To be able to be on this type of therapy, patients be carefully monitored by a doctor of medicine and undergo blood tests on a regular basis.
The itching element of eczema can be counteracted with the use of an antihistamine and other anti-itch drugs. These work to reduce irritation and damage to the skin by initiating a sedative effect. Various popular sedating antihistamines comprise Benadryl or Phenergan. Moisturizers are likewise applied to the skin to help the healing and soothing purpose. Capsaicin applied to the skin acts as a counter irritant and hydrocortisone cream is also used, however, many health food stores offer some preparations together with essential fatty acids and tea tree oil as an option.
By applying cool water via swimming, a wet washcloth or a bath, a lot of patients have found quick relief. Another proven soothing treatment is to apply an icepack wrapped in a soft cloth or even making use of air blowing from an air conditioning vent.
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