Types of Eczema

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Eczema is generally characterized as an inflammation of the upper levels of the skin, or a form of dermatitis. There are great many different forms of eczema, some of which are hereditary while others are caused by allergies or dry skin. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common types of eczema and some of the treatments available.

Skin - on sand

There are four types of eczema that are the most common. Atopic eczema is believed to be hereditary, as it seems to be passed down in families that suffer from asthma and hay fever. It is characterized by an itchy rash, usually on the face, scalp, hands, where the arm and legs crease, and the buttocks. Contact dermatitis can either be allergic, being caused by the reaction of an allergen like poison ivy, or irritant, such as a reaction to a certain kind of detergent. The majority of these cases are irritant and can be cured by avoiding the irritant and removing traces of it.

Xerotic eczema is caused by dry skin that becomes so serious that it turns into eczema. This is most often seen in the winter due to cold, dry weather. The limbs and torso are usually affected and the area resembles a cracked, dry riverbed. Seborrheic eczema promotes dry or greasy scaling of the scalp and eyebrows and is often accompanied by pimples and red patches. Also known as dandruff in adults, it can also appear in newborns and is curable.

Eczema Treatments

There are dozens of treatments available for eczema, whether the case is mild or severe. Mild eczema can be treated by keeping the skin well moisturized and avoiding irritating the affected skin with washcloths or harsh soap. For more severe cases, the advice of a dermatologist and prescription drugs may be necessary. Steroid creams can help, but should not be used for extended periods of time as they can cause atrophy, or the degeneration of the skin layers.

Antibiotics are often prescribed as the affected dry or cracked skin often makes it easy for bacteria to easily enter the skin. Other treatments include light therapy, antihistamines to help with the itching, and alternative treatments such as herbal medicine, although patients should inform their dermatologist if they are using such methods.

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