What is Eczema
Common Types of Eczema
Causes of Eczema
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What are the Common Types of Eczema?

There are various types of eczema, with slightly different causes and symptoms. Most are related to allergies or to contact with irritating chemicals. Some are associated with underlying medical conditions that cause fluid retention in the legs. Common types of eczema include;

Atopic Dermatitis:

This type of eczema comes and goes repeatedly, and usually occurs in people who have a genetic (inherited) tendency to have allergies. In about 70 % of cases, either the patient or a family member has allergic asthma, hay fever or food allergies. Atopic eczema may appear early in life, usually between 2 months and 18 months of age. In babies, atopic eczema usually affects the face, neck, ears and torso. In older children, teenagers and adults, it usually involves the skin inside the creases of the inward bend of the elbow, knee, ankle, or wrist joints, face, neck. The upper chest may also be affected.

Contact Dermatitis:

Contact dermatitis can be of 2 types. Irritant contact dermatitis due to a direct irritation of the skin or allergic contact dermatitis when an allergic reaction occurs in the skin. Irritant contact dermatitis can be caused by prolonged contact with mild irritants such as bubble bath, soap, sweat, etc. Allergic contact dermatitis only occurs in people who have an allergy to a specific substance. For example sensitivity to metals like nickel the skin beneath the watch belt and or ring, earring, may become inflamed. Allergy can occur to wool or synthetic fibers, soaps and detergents, some perfumes, dust, pollen, latex, cement, chemicals etc. Chemicals in fragrances, skin cream and lotions, shampoos and shoes or clothing also can cause allergic reactions.

Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Seborrhoeic eczema is also very common. and presents like severe dandruff in adults and cradle cap in babies, Babies tend to grow out of the cradle cap however in adult the scalp eczema can be prolonged and can spread to adjoining areas of the face, ears, neck, and a times to the chest.

Hand Dermatitis:

Hand dermatitis may affect the backs of the hands, the palms or both. It usually starts as a mild intermittent complaint, which can become increasingly severe and persistent. The affected skin initially becomes red and dry, then progresses to itchy papules (bumps) and fluid-filled blisters (vesicles), scaling, cracking (fissures), weeping (exudation) and swelling (oedema). Bacterial infection can result in pustules, crusting and pain. Long standing dermatitis at the ends of the fingers may result in deformed nails. Hand dermatitis can spread to affect other sites, particularly the forearms and feet.

Nummular Dermatitis:

Nummular or Discoid eczema can affect any part of the body particularly the lower leg. It is characterized by patches of eczema that are round or oval, hence the name 'discoid' or 'nummular' dermatitis, which refers to their disc or coin shape. The patches are pink, red, or brown, well defined and have a dry cracked surface or a bumpy, blistered or crusted surface. Patches may vary in size from several centimeters to as small as two millimetres. Discoid eczema may be extremely itchy, or scarcely noticeable. The skin between the patches is usually normal, but may be dry and irritable.

Infantile or Baby Eczema:

The eczematous patches are usually dry, red to brownish-gray, and may be scaly or thickened. The intense, almost unbearable itching can continue, and may be most noticeable at night. Some patients scratch the skin until it bleeds and crusts. When this occurs, the skin can get infected.

Varicose Eczema:

Is a condition found in the lower leg. People in their middle to late years are found most likely to encounter this eczema. Poor circulation is suspected. The ankles are most often affected and if the skin is left untreated, ulcers can develop.



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