Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a skin condition which can affect adults, infants and children. There are different types of eczema which may be classified as endogenous (from internal factors e.g. atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema) or exogenous (from external or environmental factors e.g. allergic contact dermatitis). Eczema causes the skin to become inflamed, red, dry, bumpy and itchy. In many instances, blisters occur that cause itching and bleeding.
It is not known what exactly causes eczema. People with family history of allergic asthma or other such allergic diseases are more prone to this skin condition. It is believed that eczema is caused by a combination of factors like genetics, abnormal function of immune system, environment, defects in the skin barrier that allow moisture out and germs in. Eczema is not contagious. It affects the skin mostly on face, hands, feet, inner elbows and back of knees. Eczema symptoms tend to worsen or flare up when exposed to certain triggers and substances that irritate the skin. These include soaps, cleansers, perfume, cosmetics, household chemicals, stress, climate & environment.
The treatment focuses on prevention, proper skin care and therapies. Preventing flare-ups is the best way to manage eczema by identifying and avoiding trigger for flare up. Moisturising creams to hydrate the skin also help. Depending on the condition of eczema, certain medications including anti-biotics may also be prescribed. Phototherapy or natural light therapy using ultraviolet light may also be recommended depending on the severity of eczema.
Sometimes eczema can leave very prominent scars and patches on the skin and which can be very traumatising. There are many treatments that can help you get rid of these scars and patches caused by eczema.