Ultimate Guide About Eczema
Eczema, it’s a word that rolls off the tongue like a pebble down a hill, but it’s much more than a word. Derived from Greek, meaning ‘to boil,’ it can feel like a volcano erupting on your skin.
It’s non-contagious, thank goodness, but it can be incredibly uncomfortable, like wearing a sweater made of itch. Whether you’re a tiny tot or a grand old soul, eczema doesn’t discriminate.
People often confuse eczema with dermatitis, but eczema is a subcategory, like a puzzle piece in the giant jigsaw of skin conditions.
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Atopic eczema, the most common guest at the eczema party, affects one in five kids and one in ten adults in the UK. Just like a cat choosing its favorite spot to nap, it usually settles on the hands, the insides of the elbows, the backs of the knees, and the face and scalp in children. But remember, it comes and goes, like waves on a beach, with calm periods and flare-ups.
Contact or Allergic Contact Eczema
Contact or allergic contact eczema, is an unwelcome reaction to environmental triggers or substances. Reducing exposure to these irritants is the key. It’s a bit like keeping the lid on a jar of cookies to avoid temptation!
Neurodermitis or Discoid Eczema
Neurodermitis or discoid eczema, this type is a patchwork quilt of itchy or scaly patches on your skin. They love to party on the neck, wrists, forearms, legs, or groin areas. Scratching these patches is like playing with fire—it only makes things worse!
Pompholyx or Dyshidrotic Eczema
Pompholyx or dyshidrotic eczema, a type that sucks the moisture out of your skin, leaving behind a trail of burning sensations, rashes, and blisters. It prefers the company of hands or feet and tends to hang around for 2-3 weeks.
Nummular or Discoid Eczema
Nummular or discoid eczema, also known as nummular dermatitis, is the artist of the eczema world, creating small, round lesions all over your body, especially on your arms and legs. Untreated, these spots can join together, forming oval shapes that stubbornly refuse to leave.
Seborrheic dermatitis, the troublemaker of the scalp. Its favorite pastimes are causing everything from dandruff to rashes on the affected area.
Stasis dermatitis, is a master of disguise, causing skin discoloration on the legs or ankles that look similar to varicose veins. It usually pops up near the ankles, due to poor blood flow in the lower legs.
Remember, eczema wears many faces. From dry, cracked skin to rashes on swollen skin, from small raised bumps to thickened skin, each type of eczema has its unique calling card. It’s like playing detective with your own body!
For treating atopic eczema, think of your skin like a sponge. Dry skin needs moisture, and that could come from a variety of sources—steroid creams, moisturising creams, barrier creams, specialist soaps, antihistamines, and even a soothing bath in lukewarm water. In children, an Eczema Care Plan might be issued, like a tailored suit designed to fit their needs perfectly.
Associated conditions are like unwelcome guests that turn up alongside eczema. For adults with atopic dermatitis, about 20% also have asthma. For children, food allergies are also common bedfellows with eczema, affecting up to 15% of kids aged 3-18 months. Eczema also leaves the door open for skin infections, like uninvited party crashers, due to problems with the skin barrier and an increase of bacteria on the skin.
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