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Eczema: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Know about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Eczema

Published
Fit
3 min read
Eczema: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
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Eczema is a skin rash which is particularly common among young children. It is a common skin condition characterised by itchy, inflamed and scaly skin. It is also known as atopic dermatitis.

It can triggered by skin inflammation due to a skin allergy, when the immune system attacks the skin cells causing a dry, itchy rash on the flexer surfaces of the body.

These surfaces include creases of the wrist, back of the kness and inside of the elbows. It might also affect the exposed surfaces like face, body or feet.

Let's understand more about this skin condition, what causes it, and how is it diagnosed, followed by the right treatment.

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Eczema: Causes 

When the immune system starts attacking itself, we call it a hypersensitivity reaction.

There are four types of hypersensitivity reactions, and eczema is the fourth type and it is typically triggered by allergens in the environment like pollens from the flower.

These pollens may travel through porous cells and may be picked up by the immune cells in the tissues beneath and leads to the sensitisation of other cells.

Exposure to such pollens, for a second time, leads to degranulation and release of molecules like histamines, leukotrients and proteases. This process makes the blood vessels dilate and leaky.

The leaky blood vessels attract more immune cells to the area causing inflammation of the skin tissue. This inflammation makes the skin barrier more leaky allowing more of the allergens, allowing the water to escape making the skin more dry and scaly.

The dry skin becomes itchy and the skin falls in a trap of allergy-mediated inflammation, dry skin and itchiness causing eczema.

Eczema: Risk Factors 

Infants are more at risk of eczema, and the rashes more often appear on their face or scalp.

Eczema can worsen with allergens like particles from cigarette smoke, mold or dust. Emotional stress and change of weather can also be contributing factors.

People who suffer from asthma, allergic rhinitis or whose family member might have suffered from the condition are at a higher risk of suffering from eczema.

Eczema: Signs & Symptoms 

Symptoms can differ from person to person depending on their age or the severity of the skin condition.

  • The skin can also have blisters or peel and eventually lichenify, meaning turn into a leather like structure.

  • The rashes commonly occur in the crease of the elbows, and nape of the neck.

  • Rashes can cover most of the body but are prominent near the neck, face and around the eyes.

  • Rashes can be very dry and itchy. The skin becomes more scaly in adults than in children.

  • The appearance of rashes depends on how much you scratch the skin but it leads to inflammation and itchiness becomes worse.

Eczema: Diagnosis 

No lab test or blood test is required to diagnose eczema. The doctor will make a diagnosis by examining your skin and reviewing your medical history. They may also use patch testing or other tests to rule out other skin conditions that are contributing factors of eczema.

Eczema: Treatment 

You can tell the doctor about any food that may be the cause of eczema, you can avoid the consumption of this food item from next time. Certain creams help control the itchiness and repair the skin.

Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointments, drugs to fight infections. You may be advised to use antibiotic cream if your skin has a bacterial infection, open sores or cracks.

For more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics or oral corticosteroids to treat inflammation and infection. Dupixent is a new drug which can be injected and been approved by the FDA and been effective if used as prescribed by the medical expert.

(This article is for your general information only. Before trying out any remedy or treatment, FIT advises you to consult a qualified medical professional.)

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