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Eczema: Various Causes & Symptoms Of Eczema

by Nazerah Tahir August 29, 2018 4 min read


Eczema is a dry skin condition in which patches of skin become cracked, inflamed, itchy, and red. Since it differs from person to person, it is often seen as highly individual condition. Eczema strikes different persons in different forms. It is a non-contagious disease so you cannot catch it from the bearer.

The main cause of Eczema is Atopic Dermatitis and it is mainly diagnosed in people having asthma and hay fever. Usually, Eczema starts from a small part of body and further extents to the entire body.

Eczema is a group of diseases which includes allergic contact eczema, stasis dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis. No definite reason has been found for this disease so far. The type of Eczema is determined by the person’s history and area of rash. For example, allergic contact eczema occurs when you come into the contact of an allergic person which leads to high – sensitivity reaction to the skin. Contact eczema can be prevented by avoiding the person with allergy. Irritant eczema basically occurs on the hands of person.

What does eczema look like?

People who experience Eczema for a small duration only face small and dry blisters on their body which can be itchy. But those who have had eczema for a long time can experience big and dry flakes of thickened skin.

Preventing Eczema

Mostly, doctors recommend using moisturizers and steroid creams prevent eczema. Steroid creams range from mid to high strength which can also lead to side effects, so they are recommended for use only one in two weeks. If there are symptoms of skin infection then antibiotics are also required.

Some Facts About Eczema

  • Certain foods like nuts and dairy can trigger symptoms.
  • Symptoms always include scaly, itchy patches of skin but these are vary according to the age of the person with eczema.
  • Environmental factors such as smoke and pollen can also act as triggers to this disease. However, eczema is not a curable condition but it can be prevented by avoiding contact with these environmental triggers.

Symptoms of Eczema

Eczema is always itchy, no matter which part of the skin is affected. Most commonly, it appears on face, back of knees, wrists, feet or hand.

In a person with dark skin, eczema causes pigmentation and the part of body becomes lighter. On the other hand, people with lighter skin faces redness on skin first which further turns to light brown color. The affected parts of body become very dry, rough and cracked everywhere.

Atopic Eczema commonly occurs in babies. It includes dry skin and patches on the skin. These patches are extremely itchy. Its symptoms vary with age of person.

Usually, itchiness is the main symptom of eczema. For many people, the itchiness caused by Eczema is usually moderate and mild. There are certain cases in which eczema itch can become much worse and a person might develop extremely inflamed skin. Often people tend to make this condition even worse by scratching the skin until it bleeds.

Symptoms in infants under two year old:

  • Rashes turned into bubbles filled with the fluid
  • Extreme levels of itchiness caused by the rashes
  • Skin infections caused by continuous scratching
  • Rashes on head and face of baby

Symptoms in children aged two year old to puberty age

  • Rashes appear on elbows and knees
  • Rashes appearing on neck, ankles, legs, wrists or hands
  • Mild to extreme itching

These symptoms may get worse with time:

  • They are lightened or darkened in colour.
  • Rashes can become irregular.
  • Rashes become more thick because of Lichenified which often results from continuously rubbing or scratching the skin.

Symptoms in adults

  • Rashes on neck, creases of elbows or knees. In some cases, it might cover entire body
  • Rashes are most common on face, neck and around the eyes.
  • Patches of dry skin
  • Skin infection
  • Mild to extreme itchiness

Causes of Eczema

The definite cause of eczema is unknown till now, but some researchers link it to an overactive response by the body's immune system to an irritant (the possible trigger of eczema which may vary from person to person). It is our body’s response to an irritant that causes eczema and give rise to its various symptoms.

If you are suffering from Eczema, then it means that your body is not possibly producing as much fat and oils as it is required. Furthermore, your body might be less capable of retaining water. This results in the degradation of protective barrier of your skin and it does not function properly.

It results in the loss of moisture from the deeper layers of the skin. It allows the bacteria or irritants to pass through the skin quite easily. Use of some everyday substances and chemicals can also lead to breaking down the skin. Soap, harsh shower gels, detergents, and other such materials often leads to dryness  from anyone’s skin. But if you have eczema your skin breaks down more easily and quickly become irritated, cracked and inflamed.

Some people may develop the "flare-ups" of the itchy rash in response to certain substances or conditions. Getting in touch with rough and coarse material can also cause skin dryness and itchiness in some people. For others, feeling too hot or too cold, exposure to certain daily use products like detergent, soap, or coming into contact with animal dander may cause an outbreak.

Eczema infected skin gets easily damaged and dried out and hence it is more liable to become red and inflamed when brought in contact with the substances that can cause skin dryness and allergic reactions. Therefore, people with eczema are required to avoid contact with substances that can cause skin irritation.

Basic tips to prevent Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that can affect anyone in world. Although eczema is a chronic skin condition, it is possible to reduce the frequency of outbreaks and better control the illness.  So here are some tips for prevention:

  • Moisturize your skin more often
  • Reduce factors that trigger outbreaks
  • Take as many showers as you like
  • Use a humidifier
  • Avoid scratching
  • Wear clothing made of 100% cotton
  • Choose your body and facial products carefully

With these tips, it is possible to control the the eczema outbreaks and better control the illness.

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