Eczema is a general term for many types of skin inflammation,also known as dermatitis.The most common form of eczema is Atopic dermatitis (some people use these two terms interchangeably). However, there are many different forms of eczema.
Basically there is inflammation of the epidermal layer of the skin which develops into a skin rash. Also know as Dermatitis, Eczema or Dermatitis is very common, some sources are of the view that half the world population will have it at one time or another. It often develops as infantile or baby Eczema which frequently diminishes but may continue to adulthood.
Eczema affects people of any age,race and creed although the condition is most common in infants. Eczema generally resolves permanently by the age of 3 yrs in about half of affected infants. In others, the condition tends to recur throughout life. People with eczema often have a family history of other allergic conditions, such as asthma or hay fever. Up to 30% of children and 4%-6% of adults are believed to have eczema. The most common trigger is after a vaccination, or due to some food allergy.
CAUSES OF ECZEMA
The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but an abnormal function of the immune system is believed to be one of the main reasons. Few forms of eczema can be triggered by substances that come in contact with the skin in day to day life, such as soaps, cosmetics, clothing, detergents, jewelry, or sweat. Few substances in the environment can act like allergens (substances that cause allergic reactions, like pollens, fur, lead etc) may also cause outbreaks of eczema. Changes in environmental temperature or humidity, psychological stress is also considered as causing a flare up of eczema in few individuals.
SYMPTOMS OF ECZEMA
- Skin rashes, dry skin
- Redness ,inflammation and swelling
- Itchy dry skin. Itching is always a common symptom. If its not itchy, then probability is its not Eczema
- In Acute and severe form of Atopic Eczema there may be heat and temperature disturbances as the whole body becomes involved
- Cracks on skin, scaly and flaking
- Bleeding and weeping skin, with sticky or watery discharge
- Burning with stinging pain
- Feeling low and down can lead to depression in extreme cases, itching and irritation of skin causing behavioral problems in kids
- Eczema blisters, these may occur in some forms of Eczema
- Eczema scars can occur from perpetual scratching, leaving behind blackish or brownish hyper pigmented spots.
TYPES OF ECZEMA
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of Eczema, and sometimes people use the two terms interchangeably. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disease characterized by itchy, dry, inflamed skin. The bodys abnormal immune system is believed to be the cause of this type of eczema. The condition tends to wax and wane, depending upon exposures to triggers or causative factors. Atopic dermatitis, affects about 20% of infants and 5-6% of adults in the U.S. Approximately two-thirds of those who develop the condition are below 1 yr of age. When the disease starts in infancy, it is commonly termed infantile eczema. This type of eczema has a tendency to run in families, and people who develop the condition often have a family history of allergic conditions such as asthma or hay fever.
Contact eczema (contact dermatitis) is a local reaction caused by some allergen which comes into contact with the skin of the particular part. The rashes are marked by redness, itching, and burning. Other examples of contact eczema include reactions to laundry detergents, nickel (present in jewelry), cosmetics, fabrics, clothing, and perfume. Due to the varying number of substances with which individuals have contact, it can be difficult sometimes to determine the trigger for contact dermatitis. Often it is referred to as allergic contact eczema.
eczema or seborrheic dermatitis is a form of skin inflammation of unknown cause. The signs and symptoms of this type of eczema are yellowish, oily, scaly patches of skin on the scalp, face, and occasionally other parts of the body. The skin can peel of in scabs. Dandruff and "cradle cap" in infants are examples of seborrheic eczema. The common place for seborrheic eczema to inflame and cause rashes is the face at the creases of the cheeks and/or the nasal folds. Itching is generally mild or absent in this form of eczema. There can be a family history of similar condition with patients suffering from such kind of eczema.
Nummular eczema or nummular dermatitis is characterized by coin-shaped, rounded patches of inflamed skin.The most commonly location is on the arms, back, buttocks, and lower legs the lesions may be crusted, scaling, and extremely itchy. This form of eczema is not very common and occurs most frequently in elderly people. Nummular eczema is generally a chronic condition. A Personal or family histories of atopic dermatitis, asthma, or allergies have greater chances to encounter such condition.
Neurodermatitis, also known as lichen simplex chronicus, is a chronic skin inflammation caused by a scratch-itch cycle that is triggered with a localized itch (such as an insect bite) that becomes intensely irritated, and itchy when scratched. Women are common victims to these condition then men, and the condition is most frequently found in people aged 25-55. This form of eczema leads to scaly patches of skin on the head, lower legs, wrists, or forearms.
Stasis dermatitis is a skin inflammation and irritation on the lower legs, generally caused due to the circulatory problem known as venous insufficiency, in which the function of the valves within the veins has been compromised. Stasis dermatitis occurs mostly in the middle-aged and elderly people, with roughly 6%-7% of the population over age 50 being affected by the condition. With advancing age the risk of acquiring stasis dermatitis increases. Symptoms include itching and/or reddish-brown discoloration of the skin on one or both the legs.
Dyshidrotic eczema or dyshidrotic dermatitis is an inflammation and irritation of the skin on the palms of hands and soles of the feet marked by clear, deep blisters that itch and burn. The cause is unknown. Dyshidrotic eczema is also known as vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis, dyshidrosis, or pompholyx. Around 20-25 % of people get affected with this form of eczema, and its more common during the spring and summer months and in warmer climates. Males and females are equally affected, and the condition can occur in people of any age.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR ECZEMA
GRAPHITES - There is thick,oozing watery and sticky discharge. Suited to that patient who suffers from constipation and obesity along with eczema. He or she might be sensitive towards cold. There is hard and cold skin but the affected area remains dry and rough.
MEZERIUM - Useful for eczema which tends to form a leathery crust on the head. There is intense itching especially at night.
HEPAR SULPH - Useful for eczema with formation of pus.Suited to that patient who is usually too sensitive to cold. There is intense itching, sneezing and sensitivity towards cold
DULCAMARA - Useful for eczema which aggravates in damp or cold weather.There is thick formation of yellowish crust with intense itching .
SULPHUR : Useful for eczema with burning sensation along with intense itching. Symptoms usually worsen in summer and the skin feels rough and dry.