Eczema (Dermatitis) (Atopic Dermatitis)

What Is Eczema?

Eczema, also known as dermatitis or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic, itchy inflammatory condition of the skin that is often associated with asthma or hay fever. Eczema is an inability of the skin to properly retain water. It can be made worse by irritating clothes or chemicals, change in temperature or humidity, stress, and skin infections.

Causes of Eczema

Although dermatologists do not fully understand the exact cause of all eczema, they have identified a variety of potential sources. Some people may have a genetic predisposition because eczema tends to be more common in people whose family members have allergies, asthma, or eczema. In others, eczema may result from a variety of factors known to trigger eczema flare-ups, which may include:

  • Common household items such as detergents and disinfectants
  • Health and beauty products such as medications, soaps, perfumes and makeup
  • Chemicals such as industrial and household chemicals, smoke, latex rubber and metals
  • Foods such as juices, eggs, peanuts, milk, wheat, fish and soy products
  • Living organisms such as dust mites, pollen, molds, animal saliva, pet dander and plant saps
  • Fabric such as abrasive clothing
  • Environmental factors such as stress, low humidity, dry climates, rapid heating and cooling, long periods of bathing and lack of moisture on the skin

If a patient's flare-ups are caused or aggravated by a contact allergy, patch testing can be done to pinpoint the trigger.


Who Gets Eczema?

Eczema usually starts in early childhood. Children often get eczema during their first year of life. If a child gets eczema during this time, dry and scaly patches appear on the skin. These patches often appear on the scalp, forehead, and face. These patches are very common on the cheeks, as well. No matter where it appears, eczema is often very itchy. Infants may rub their skin against bedding or carpeting to relieve the itch and scratching can lead to a skin infection. Some people grow out of it, but adults can continue to have eczema either over their whole body, or more commonly on their hands.

Eczema, Dermatitis and Atopic Dermatitis Treatment Options (not limited to):

+Avoid Irritants
+Bathing Habits
+Topical Steroids
+Moisturizing Baths
+Bleach Baths
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