A Brief Guide on Eczema: Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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The word eczema originates from two Greek words i.e. “Ek” meaning out and “zema” meaning boiling out. The combined Greek word is “ekzein” which literally means “boiling out”.

It is a condition of the skin in which the skin stays red, itchy and even, sometimes, blistered. Another name for eczema is dermatitis.
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Causes of Eczema

WebMD states that that the exact causes of dermatitis are not known. It is just an overactive response of the body to an irritant.

People may get the condition simply because of family history. Others may suffer because they may be allergic to some external substances.

There is no known cure for eczema. However, there are several treatment options and self-help tips that can control the flare ups.

According to Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of eczema is not known. A combination of factors such as dry skin, irritable skin and malfunction of the immune system may cause the condition.

The National Eczema Association states that the exact causes are not known. Family history of hay fever and asthma can play a major role.

Symptoms of Eczema

The symptoms vary from individual to individual. The rash may look different in each person. It may also affect different areas in different people. Some people get it on the face, neck, shoulders, scalp while other may it not he hands, arms, legs and feet.

Dry skin and itchiness are the typical symptoms of eczema. Besides, it may show itself in any of the following conditions.

  • Chronically Itchy skin
  • Dry skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Blisters
  • Sore skin
  • Dry patches on skin
  • Thickened skin
  • Rough and inflamed skin
  • Recurring rash
  • Oozing or crusting

Types of Eczema

1. Nummular Eczema

The American Academy of Dermatology defines nummular eczema as a skin condition in which coin shaped itchy patches appear on the skin with sever burning sensation and inflammation.

According to some sources, it is more common in men than women while according to other sources it equally effects both men and women. However, it is generally agreed that nummular eczema appears more among the older people.

Nummular eczema is also known as discoid or microbial dermatitis.

2. Dyshidrotic Eczema

This type of eczema mostly appears on hands and feet. Blisters develop on the hands and feet. It is an allergic reaction and is, therefore, very common in spring. The blisters contain fluid or puss and are very itchy and painful. More about dyshidrotic eczema.

3. Eczema Herpeticum

It is a serious condition and may pose some health hazards. It is very important to refer to the patient to doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. It is a viral infection and must be treated by qualified doctors. In some cases the patient may even be hospitalised.

4. Atopic Eczema

This type is genetic and inherited from forefathers. In other words, there may be instances of the condition in the family history. Some internal problem within the body causes atopic dermatitis.

Children develop this in early age and some children are even born with it.

 5. Contact Eczema

Contact dermatitis is that type of eczema which is caused by the contact of the body with something which irritates it. Contact dermatitis is not inherited or genetic. People allergic to certain substances very easily attract this type of skin condition.

6. Infantile Eczema

This often refers to atopic eczema in children. Children suffering from infantile eczema have dry and itchy skin. Infantile eczema very common in the Western world.

According to Net Doctor, babies with infantile eczema develop rash which is red and itchy. This normally appears on face but may also spread to others such as arms and legs. Because of the  evere itchiness, rash and inflammation the child is upset or even irritable especially at night.

7. Discoid Eczema

According to NHS, discoid eczema is another name for nummular eczema. It is a long term skin condition. Red, dry and cracked skins are the most common symptoms of discoid eczema. It can affect any part of the body, but is mostly seen on areas such as lower legs, arms, chest, tummy and back.

8. Babies Eczema

According to the National Eczema Association, the location of eczema changes with the growing age of a child. When babies are young, it appears more prominently on cheeks, forehead and scalp. When the baby reaches the age of 6 and 12 months, it spreads to the crawling surfaces. Around the age of 2, the distribution changes to elbows, knees, hands, ankles and wrists.

9. Facial Eczema

As the name indicates it is eczema which appears on face, forehead, chins and the surrounding areas.

10. Eczema on Hands

This type of eczema appears on the hands, palms, fingers, wrists, fingers and between the knuckles. For most people it is embarrassing to have flaky and dry hands.  According to the National Eczema Association, hands eczema is very common and around 10% people suffer from it.

11. Home Remedies for Eczema

Home remedies for eczema refer to treatments in which a condition is treated at home using do it your self-methods. Some home remedies have been found quite effective and even safer than traditional medication. Here are some effective home remedies for treating ecezema.

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