Eczema – Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Home Remedies

The skin is the largest organ of the body by weight making about one-sixth of our total body weight. It’s a complicated structure and consists of three layers namely; epidermis the outermost one, the dermis which is a layer beneath the epidermis and the subcutaneous layer the deepest one. Eczema commonly called as ‘dermatitis’ is a skin disorder characterized by inflammation and intense itching. People suffering from eczema have extremely dry skin which is highly susceptible to bacterial, fungal or viral infections. The affected skin is not a smooth, protective barrier but patches of skin with rashness, red lumps or blisters. Eczema can affect people of all age group from infants or adults and continue to have symptoms throughout their life depending on the severity. Normally in infants, itchy rashes appear on the skin. The eczema photos show that these rashes can produce oozing, crusty condition majorly on the child’s scalp and face. Eczema is a recognizable health condition among a number of skin diseases and can be prevented by keeping the skin moisturized, nourished and healthy.

Types of eczema
Eczema is not considered as a contagious disease and cannot catch when in close contact. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, researchers suggest that people develop eczema because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers. When an allergen gets activated, skin cells behave like a foreign agent causing an eczema flare-up. There are eight different types of eczema like atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, hand eczema, neurodermatitis, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis. It is possible to identify the types by looking for eczema photos online. Atopic dermatitis, which is severe and long-lasting is the most common one and can occur in combination at a time. All types of eczema cause itching, redness or blisters.

Causes of eczema

  • Eczema is commonly found in the history of families with allergies or asthma. Also, defects in the skin barrier could allow moisture out and germs in leading to dryness and skin infections.
  • The exact cause is unknown but eczema is linked to the hyperactive response by the body’s immune system to a foreign body or an allergen.
  • Eczema is also caused due to various factors like stress, exposure to certain household products like soap, detergents, deodorants, coming in contact with too hot or cold conditions or in contact with rough materials.

Symptoms of eczema

  • Atopic dermatitis manifests in infants. If you think your child has eczema, you may refer various eczema photos online, where children suffer from this condition. Dry and scaly patches appear on the skin, which is intensely itchy. The symptoms can vary, depending on the age of the person and the genetics involved.
  • Other symptoms in infants include rashes on scalp and cheeks, extreme itchiness which interferes with sleep, and continuous scratching leading to skin infections causing acute inflammation.
  • Symptoms in adults are rashes in the creases of elbows, knees or neck and can cover much of the body. It can cause scaly skin leading to permanent itchiness. Gradually, rashes can be prominent on wrists, hands, legs, neck, and face or around the eyes which eventually results in skin infections.
  • People affected with eczema have dry, thickened or scaly skin with reddish patches which turns brown when it worsens. Also, it affects skin pigmentation making the affected lighter or darker.

Treatment for eczema
There is no specific cure for eczema and it goes over time in some patients while in others it’s a lifelong condition.

  • It aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flaring based on the patient’s medical history like age, symptoms, genetics involved, and the current state of health.
  • Home care remedies to support skin health include wearing soft and cotton fabrics, using skin specific moisturizer or mild soap cleanser when washing, taking lukewarm baths, air-drying and gently patting the skin dry with a towel, keeping the nails short to prevent scratching from skin etc.
  • There are many medications to treat the symptoms of eczema. Topical corticosteroid ointments prevent itchiness and inflammation. These are given in the form of an injection or as pills.
  • Calcineurin types of inhibitors are the drugs which suppress the immune system and decrease the inflammation.
  • Eczema phototherapy can be used to treat mild to moderate dermatitis and involves exposure to ultraviolet A or B rays, alone or in combination.

Eczema poses many skin challenges and its severity depends on its history and diagnosis. Eczema is caused due to genetic combination and an environmental trigger such as an allergen. If you look for eczema photos, you will find that in some cases the condition is severe, in fact, it is a deadly skin disease. Researching eczema photos, learning more about what kind of eczema you have, it’s history, and the cause would help to get rid of eczema from everyday life.