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  Eczema

Eczema is a clinical classification for certain inflammations of the outer layers of the skin. Inflammation of the skin is known as dermatitis. The term eczema is used for a broad range of persistent and chronic rashes. These rashes have very specific characteristics – such as redness, drying, itchiness, blistering, cracking and flaking. Eczema, because of the excessive itching, can also have oozing and bleeding. The skin may have a discoloration, though scaring is uncommon.

Eczema Skin diseases
Eczema


Causes/Symptoms:

Because eczema is a description of certain different inflammations, the symptoms are described by the type of eczema presenting on the patient.

Here are some common types of eczema and their symptoms:

• Xerotic is dry skin that turns into eczema due to it’s severity. Limbs and trunk are affected the most. The itchy, tender skin resembles a dry, cracked, river bed. This presentation of eczema is common in the elderly.
• Atopic eczema is believed to be hereditary. Families will have members that also suffer from hay fever and asthma. An itchy rash appears most notably on the inside of elbows, behind the knees, face, scalp neck and buttocks. It can be confused with contact dermatitis.
• Contact eczema has two causes/classifications, allergic (poison ivy) and irritant (reaction to a chemical). Seventy five percent of contact dermatitis is irritant type, being the most common occupational skin disease. Contact eczema is curable provided the offending substance can be avoided, and its traces removed from one’s environment.
• Seborrheic dermatitis is also known as dandruff and cradle cap in babies. The symptoms are dry or greasy scaling of the scalp and eyebrows.

Eczemas that are less common:

• Dyshidrosis is also known as dishwasher’s eczema. It occurs in the palms, soles and between fingers and toes. Tiny, opaque bumps appear called vesicles. The vesicles thicken and crack which cause itching. The itching is worse at nigh and in warm weather
• Discoid eczema is also known as exudative eczema. Presenting symptoms are round spots of oozing or dry rash, with clear boundaries, often on lower legs. Like most eczemas it is worse in winter weather.
• Venous eczema is also known as varicose eczema. Patients with varicose veins, poor circulation and edema are likely to develop venous eczema. It commonly occurs on the ankle of individuals over fifty. Presenting symptoms are redness, scaling, darker skin and itching. This eczema can lead to leg ulcers.
• Dermatitis herpetiformis is also known as Duhring’s Disease. Symptoms are extremely itchy, symmetrical rashes that occur on the arms, thighs, knees and back. It is directly related to celiac disease. Remission will occur with a gluten free diet.
• Neurodermatitis this is also known as lichen simplex chronicus. Symptoms are an itchy area of discolored, thicker eczema patch. It is usually the result of habitual scratching or rubbing. It is curable via behavior modification and anti-inflammatory medications.
• Autoeczematization is also known as id reaction. It is an eczema resulting in an infection due to parasites, fungi, bacteria or viruses. It is completely curable when the original infection is cured.

Treatment:

There are currently eleven different ways to treat eczema and more are on the way. The eleven ways to treat eczema are a combination of treatment and preventive measures.

The eleven methods for eczema remediation are:

• Moisturizing
• Detergents
• Itch relief
• Corticosteroids
• Immuno-modulators
• Antibiotics
• Managing mental and emotional state
• Light therapy
• Diet
• Traditional remedies

Moisturizers are not a whole sale cure for eczema itching. Moisturizers need to be matched to the symptoms and type of eczema a patient is experiencing. Moisturizers get their ‘moisture’ from emollients. Thicker moisture should be used on drier, flakier skin. Some patients have reported that oatmeal solutions, emollient bath soaks and nighttime moisture gloves.

Patients with eczema are encouraged to avoid detergents as they irritate eczema. Detergent and soaps are not the same, but both can contain sodium lauryl sulfate. This ingredient is known to increase antigen penetration.

Dermatologists recommend the following:

• Avoid harsh detergents or drying soaps
• Choose a soap that has an oil or fat base; a "super fatted" soap is best
• Use an unscented soap
• Patch test your soap choice, by using it only on a chosen area until you are sure of its results
• Use a non-soap based cleanser

Dermatologists recommend the following for soap use:

• Bathe in warm water — not hot
• Use soap sparingly
• Avoid using washcloths, sponges, or loofahs
• Use soap only on areas where it is necessary
• Soap up only at the very end of the bath
• Use a fragrance free barrier type moisturizer such as vaseline or aquaphor before drying off
• Never use any kind of lotion, soap, or fragrance unless doctor recommended or allergen free
• Don’t rub skin, it removes the natural oils and moisture

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