Eczema sufferers know better than anyone that this skin condition is much more than dry skin that they can just put lotion on for treatment. Individuals with one or more of the family of conditions under the umbrella of eczema, or dermatitis, can have flares triggered from increased stress, temperature and humidity increases, and too much wetness to the skin.
Eczema is used to describe a group of skin conditions that cause inflammation and irritation in the skin, but there are many types. This group of conditions often indicate that there is some problem with the immune system. The immune system is attacking the skin, which causes the redness and itching.
The most common form of eczema is contact dermatitis, or rash, which is an allergic skin reaction which most people have contracted at least once in their lives. While this is technically a form of eczema, it is not considered among the more serious form. Atopic dermatitis is another common form of eczema and mostly affects children. The first year of life is the most vulnerable for children, and this is the time when the condition is most likely to strike. It can become so irritating that infants cannot sleep and can become prone to infection if inadequately treated. Dyshidrotic eczema occurs when the skin cannot protect itself, which causes it to react by developing small blisters embedded deep into the layers of the skin. Older men are prone to nummular dermatitis, which occurs in itchy patches after a burn, abrasion or insect bit. Similarly, individuals with poor blood circulation (particularly in the in legs) can develop stasis dermatitis; this is itchiness caused from venous insufficiency. Neurodermatitis is a form of eczema that does not require an external agent. This condition starts with an itch triggered by stress and can cause restless sleep from the persistent itching.
Besides being generally miserable from constant, uncomfortable itching, eczema can provide additional challenges to health and wellness. First, individuals with eczema are more prone to skin infections or other infections that enter through the skin as it is more vulnerable due to the broken skin. Second, there is obviously an aesthetic issue for those with skin conditions. Those who work in contact with others may have to take extra precautions to cover up affected areas not only to keep their condition in check, but also because others are not likely going to be comfortable with a skin condition that may appear infectious or as having an active medical process. Those with eczema also cannot engage in the same leisure activities that those without it can enjoy, particularly with watersports and other outdoors activities that occur during the summer.
For children with eczema, they are more likely to develop other conditions, including asthma, hay fever, and food allergies. Certain foods can cause eczema, but these triggers are individualized. IGE testing for food allergies can provide a list of things to avoid. For those with allergy-based eczema, they are also at risk for severe allergic reactions that may require immediate medical attention, including difficulty breathing as well as throat, eyes or face swelling.
All of the various types of eczema present significant struggles for those who bear them. Blisters, irritation, sleeplessness, constant itchiness, loss of enjoyment, and severe allergic reactions are all potential effects. Those with eczema should consult with a dermatologist for the most current treatments and to prevent some of the harsher effects from this potentially serious condition.
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