What is Eczema?

Discoid  EczemaTypes of Eczema

What is Eczema?


Eczema or Dermatitis is one of the most common kinds of skin complaints. It can affect people of all ages and can start at any age. It is most commonly seen in children and infants though. Eczema is a generic term and refers to any kind of inflammation of the skin. It starts as a red, bubbly, itchy rash on a part of the body or on the whole body. It is usually a chronic condition and no one knows exactly why it happens. There are many suspected causes of Eczema; genetics, allergies, contact with chemicals, plant and animal extracts and so on. There are many different kinds of Eczema, like Atopic Eczema, Contact Dermatitis, Nummular Eczema and so on. 

Eczema is particularly distressful in small children and infants as the constant itching makes them cranky and puts pressure on the entire family. Childhood Atopic eczema is now becoming very common and is said to affect one in five children worldwide. But the good news is that most children naturally outgrow the condition by the time they attain the age of 15 years. The most common symptom of all Eczema is severe itching and redness of the skin. The skin feels dry and flaky and in some cases constant scratching can lead to the skin breaking and a secondary bacterial infection setting in. Atopic Dermatitis is usually seen in patients along with other allergies such as Asthma and Hay fever leading scientists to conclude that a specific set of genes play a role here and it is usually inherited.

Although Eczema is not curable, there are many ways to relieve the discomfort caused by the condition. Applying emollients that keep the skin moist, topical and oral steroids and antihistamines that reduce the itching and scratching greatly help in alleviating the symptoms of Eczema. 

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