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How to Recognize Eczema

Eczema is an inflamed skin condition that is characterized by the dry, red, extremely itchy patches on the skin. It affects both kids and adults and from 10 to 20 percent of those having this irritating disease are children. Although the disease clears and disappears by the age of 15, its flow requires more attention from the adults because kids are less controllable in scratching the skin and irritating it.

It is still unknown what causes eczema, but individuals with the family history of allergic conditions (asthma, hay fever etc.) and genetically predisposed and then exposed to environmental triggers are more likely to develop this disease. This chronic itchy rush is considered to be the form of abnormal response to the body’s immune system.

Unfortunately, eczema is not curable. Neither is it contagious. The eczema symptoms vary from person to person and within the definite type of this skin condition. The first common symptom is an intense itching which is typical in most individual. Repeated scratching leads to thickened and crusty skin; and in some cases oozing lesions and blisters are also likely to appear.

Depending on the age, eczema commonly affects various parts of the body. In infants eczema usually occurs on the forehead, neck, scalp, cheeks, forearms and legs. In children and adults the disease appears on the face, neck, and the insides of the elbows, knees, and ankles.

To effectively handle eczema one should now which type of the disease he or she is about to deal with. Depending on the symptoms, there are various kinds of eczema.

Atopic dermatitis is the most common one and often used as a synonym to eczema. It is characterized be itchy, inflamed skin and is usually caused by abnormal function of the immune system. Depending upon exposure to triggers, this condition comes and goes.

Contact eczema (or contact dermatitis) appears as localized reaction, characterized by redness, itching and burning at the places where skin contacted an allergy-causing substance or some other irritant (any laundry detergents, cosmetics, fabrics, clothing or perfume may be the example).

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Seborrheic eczema is a skin inflammation of unknown origin. It marks mostly the skin of the face and scalp with yellowish, oily, scaly patches. This type of eczema is not necessarily associated with itching and tends to run in families.

Another common type of eczema is nummular dermatitis. Irritated skin with coin-shaped patches characterizes this condition. It usually appears on the back, arms, buttocks, lower legs and may be crusted and extremely itchy. Nummular eczema commonly occurs in elderly men and is usually a chronic condition.

Dyshidrotic eczema reveals in an irritation of the skin on the palms of hands and soles of the feet. It is characterized by clear, deep blisters that itch and burn. This condition appears mostly in spring in summer and warm climates and affects equally men and women.

Remember that only professional dermatologist will make the right diagnosis and will find the right way to treat eczema.

Diana L.

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