What Is Eczema and How to Keep It Under Control?

Eczema is a condition which affects your skin. It typically occurs in children but adults can catch it as well. The symptoms of eczema include inflamed, rough, red, cracked, or itchy skin. No permanent cure has been found for eczema but it can be kept under control through various self-care plans, and by taking certain medications using pill tracker app.

Eczema has various types. Learning in detail about each type can give you better control over your condition.

What are the common types of eczema?

Common types of eczema include:

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is the most widespread form of eczema. It typically targets children and can range from mild to severe. A child will have a higher risk of developing atopic dermatitis if one of their parents has carried it in the past.

Besides, children with AD are more likely to develop asthma and hay fever. They also have a higher risk of food sensitivity.

Some children can outgrow AD while others will require continuous treatment.

Symptom of atopic dermatitis include red, cracked, itchy, or dry skin around the creases of knees, elbows, and on the face, neck, and wrists.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a skin reaction which occurs as a result of getting into contact with certain substances.

Symptoms of CD can include dry, red, itchy skin or a sensation of burning inside the skin. Blistering, hives, and a rash featuring small red bumps are some other symptoms of contact dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis has two main types: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis may occur due to continual exposure to substances that irritate the skin. Examples include acids, solvents, hair dyes, and so forth.

Allergic contact dermatitis, on the other hand, happens as a result of your immune system reacting to allergens. Possible examples of allergens include latex, glues, adhesives, clothing dyes, and more.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema typically targets individuals under 40 years of age. It mostly affects hands and feet. Symptoms of DE include intense itching and small blisters on the skin.

In some cases, blisters can become infected, large, watery and exude pus. This can result in pain and swelling. Blisters typically disappear in a few days. However, infected skin often becomes dry and full of painful cracks.

It is still unknown what causes DE. However, people who have hay fever, atopic dermatitis, or fungal skin infections are most affected by it.

Discoid Eczema

Discoid eczema features disc-shaped patches on the skin. Redness, itch, swelling, and cracks on the skin are its other symptoms. This condition can appear in children as well as in adults.

Like other types of eczema, the main causes of DE are not fully clear. However, known risk factors include:

  • Dry skin
  • Skin injuries (friction or burns)
  • Bacterial skin infections
  • Insect bites
  • Cold climate
  • Poor blood flow
  • Certain medications
  • Atopic dermatitis

So, these are the most common types of eczema. The less common types include seborrheic dermatitis (develops in oily areas of the skin such as scalp, ears, eyebrows), varicose eczema (affects older adults with weak veins), and asteatotic eczema (occurs in adults over 60 years of age).

What are the symptoms of eczema?

Eczema symptoms can vary depending on age.

Infants under 2 years of age may experience:

  • Rashes on the scalp and cheeks
  • Extreme itchiness which may affect their sleep

Symptoms in children over two years of age and teens may include:

  • Rashes in the creases of elbows, knees, buttocks and on the neck, wrists, ankles, or legs
  • Rashes becoming bumpy
  • The color of rashes becoming light or dark
  • Rashes becoming thick and developing a permanent itch

Eczema symptoms in adults may include:

  • Rashes in the creases of knees, elbows, or the nape
  • Dry skin
  • Rashes on the neck, face, and around the eyes
  • Permanent itch in the rashes
  • Skin infections

The amount of skin infection by eczema rashes will depend on how much a person rubs or scratches. Constant scratching and rubbing of the rash can further irritate the skin, making this condition worse. However, by taking eczema medications using free pill reminder app, the infections can be controlled.

How can you prevent eczema?

There are numerous ways to prevent eczema. The most common ones include:

  • Moisturizing your skin: Use moisturizers (cream and lotions) regularly to keep your skin moisturized. Petroleum jelly can also help prevent the development of dry skin.
  • Identifying what triggers your condition: Identifying and avoiding eczema triggers is another great way to prevent this condition. Sweat, stress, obesity; substandard soaps, detergents, shampoos; dust and pollen are among the most common triggers of eczema. Reducing your exposure to these triggers can prevent eczema.
  • Taking a bleach bath: Health experts around the world highly recommend taking bleach baths 1 to 2 times per week to prevent eczema. Bleach bath reduces bacteria on the skin and keeps it protected against various sorts of infections.
  • Using mild soaps: Use mild and antibacterial soaps to prevent rashes.
  • Gently drying your skin: After bathing, gently dry your skin with a towel and use a skin moisturizer while your skin is still damp.

What are the main causes of eczema?

Though specific causes of eczema remain unclear, it is believed that a combination of genetic and environmental factors lead to its development.

Remember that eczema is not contagious. It is often passed through genes. If one of the parents has had eczema, their children have a higher risk of developing this condition. And if both the parents have suffered from this condition, then the risk is even greater in children.

Common factors that bring out the causes of eczema include:

Skin Irritants: These contain soaps, shampoos, detergents, meats, or vegetables.

Allergens: Dandruff, mold, pollens, pets, and dust mites are some examples of allergens that can lead to eczema.

Microbes: These include certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Temperature/humidity variations: Very hot or cold temperature and high or low humidity levels can bring out eczema.

Foods: Dairy products, soy products, nuts, eggs, and wheat can cause eczema outbreaks.

Stress: Though stress is not a direct cause of eczema, it can make symptoms worse.

Hormones: Hormonal changes can increase the risk of eczema in women. For instance, during pregnancy or menstrual cycle, women are at higher risk of experiencing eczema symptoms.

When to see a doctor?

Call your doctor if your moisturizers aren’t working. Also, if the avoidance of your eczema triggers is being ineffective, calling the doctor is your only option. Additionally, signs of fever, pus, or pain could also mean that you need medical assistance.

In case this condition is affecting your daily activities or sleep habits, perhaps it’s time to see your doctor.

Finally, if the medications that you are taking using an app for pills aren’t improving your condition, seeing a doctor is your best choice.