Eczema – the truth (Part 2 of 2)

Eczema is a common chronic or recurrent inflammatory skin disease and affects 15-20% of children and 1-3% of adults worldwide. Although common, it is often misunderstood. In this 2-part article, we will give you all the information you need to understand and treat eczema a little better. In Part 1 we will discuss: In Part 2 we will discuss: Part 2 Types of Eczema Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. It usually starts in childhood, and often gets milder or goes away by adulthood. Atopic dermatitis is part of what healthcare professionals call the atopic triad. “Triad” means three. The other two diseases in the triad are asthma and hay fever. Many people with atopic dermatitis have all three conditions.  Symptoms Causes Atopic dermatitis happens when your skin’s natural barrier against the elements is weakened. This means your skin is less able to protect you from irritants and allergens. Atopic dermatitis is likely caused by a combination of factors, such as: 2. Contact dermatitis If you have red, irritated skin, thick scaly region that’s caused by a reaction to substances you touch, you may have contact dermatitis. It comes in two types: Allergic contact dermatitis is an immune system reaction to an irritant, like latex or metal. Irritant contact dermatitis starts when a chemical or other substance irritates your skin. Symptoms Causes Contact dermatitis happens when you touch a substance that irritates your skin or causes an allergic reaction. The most common causes are: 3. Dyshidrotic eczema Dyshidrotic eczema causes small blisters to form on your hands and feet. It’s more common in women than men. Symptoms Causes 4. Hand eczema Eczema that only affects your hands is called hand eczema. You may get this type if you work a job, like hairdressing or cleaning, where you regularly use chemicals that irritate the skin. Symptoms Causes Hand eczema is triggered by exposure to chemicals. People are more likely to get this form if they work in jobs that expose them to irritants, such as: 5. Neurodermatitis Neurodermatitis is similar to atopic dermatitis. It causes thick, scaly patches to appear on your skin. Symptoms Causes Neurodermatitis usually starts in people who have other types of eczema or psoriasis. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes it, but stress can be a trigger. 6. Nummular eczema This type of eczema causes round, coin-shaped spots to form on your skin. The word “nummular” means coin in Latin. Nummular eczema looks very different from other types of eczema, and it can itch a lot. Symptoms Causes Nummular eczema can be triggered by a reaction to an insect bite or an allergic reaction to metals or chemicals. Dry skin can also cause it. You’re more likely to get this form if you have another type of eczema, such as atopic dermatitis. 7. Stasis dermatitis Stasis dermatitis happens when fluid leaks out of weakened veins into your skin. This fluid causes: Symptoms Causes Stasis dermatitis happens in people who have blood flow problems in their lower legs. If the valves that normally push blood up through your legs toward your heart malfunction, blood can pool in your legs. Your legs can swell up and varicose veins can form.  Identifying which one you or your loved one suffers from, can be difficult, time-consuming and costly at times. If the eczema is severe, painful, affecting your ability to do daily tasks, or leaves the skin broken and not healing, I suggest a visit to a professional (doctor, dermatologist) immediately. Triggers & aggravators Although it isn’t always easy to completely avoid these triggers or aggravators, it will go a long way in helping to lessen the severity or frequency of outbreaks. Although glycerin is truly a wonderful moisturizer, with amazing properties, it should be avoided in the treatment of eczema. Basically all the articles advocate for the use of glycerin in treating eczema, but our experience have been that once it is eliminated, the skin reacts better and heals quicker. Any exposure to products that contain glycerin, aggravates the eczema again. Treatments There is no cure for eczema.  But it can be managed. Everyday solutions Treatment of atopic dermatitis may start with regular moisturizing and other self-care habits:  If these don’t help, your health care provider might suggest medicated creams that control itching and help repair skin. These are sometimes combined with other treatments. Atopic dermatitis can be persistent. You may need to try various treatments over months or years to control it. And even if treatment is successful, symptoms may return (flare). Our Skin Restoring Eczema Cream is designed as an effective daily moisturizer, that also helps to relieve and ease the symptoms of eczema. Medications Wet a cloth with water and plain bath oil (example chux or rediwipe). Apply to wet cloth to itchy areas for 5 -10 minutes, then apply a moisturiser post compressing. These are also the wet dressing for the face, and are best applied while awake and when feeding. Another option is using a thermal water spray to the itchy area. Age dependant the children should be encouraged to learn this technique rather than scratching.  Treatments for severe eczema.  Therapies Baby eczema Treatment for eczema in babies (infantile eczema) includes: Infected eczema Secondary infection of eczema is a common complication as the skin is not intact and thus more vulnerable to infection. Infection can make eczema worse and more difficult to treat. A common causative bacterium is Staphylococcus aureus which is commonly found on eczema skin.  Infection should be suspected if there is crusting, weeping, erythema, cracks, frank pus or multiple excoriations and increased soreness and itching which may suggest bacterial infection.  Secondary viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV) is characterized by a sudden onset of grouped, small white or clear fluid filled vesicles, satellite or “punch out” lesions, pustules, and erosions. It is often tender, painful and itchy. Other viruses that may cause the eczema to flare are molluscum contagiosum and coxsackie A6 virus (hand foot and mouth disease). Secondary infection should be treated by a doctor. Do not try to treat it

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