Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis and is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. These brownish-gray patches, may appear on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids and inside the bend of the elbows and knees. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever.
While the exact causes of eczema are not known, most research has found a combination of genetic factors and certain triggers. An over-active immune system in the individual causes an inflammation in response to certain triggers. Some people with eczema are found to have a mutation of the gene that is responsible for creating the protein called filaggrin.
Signs & Symptoms:
Eczema and its symptoms differ for each person. You may have a moderate or severe itch. Other symptoms include:
You may notice all these symptoms of just a few, and they may flare up or subside at different times. The only way to establish that you have eczema is to consult a dermatologist.
Visit Medcare to get the right diagnosis of your eczema symptoms. The dermatologist will usually diagnose eczema based on the history of your symptoms and a visual examination. The doctor may use patch testing or other tests to rule out other conditions.
The treatment may include moisturisers along with topical medications - mainly cortisone or calcineurin inhibitors creams to be applied to the affected areas, as well as medications to be taken orally. In some cases, phototherapy, or the use of light, may be prescribed. In more severe cases immunosuppresants may be given by oral, intravenous or intramuscular methods, biologics- parenteral may be needed.
A: No, eczema is not contagious and you cannot get it from another person. When your own immune system responds to a trigger, it may cause your eczema to flare up.
A: You may be able to prevent or control your eczema flare ups with these practices:
A: Eczema or atopic dermatitis can develop at any age, but infants and children are at the highest risk. Among individuals affected by eczema, more than half develop symptoms in their first year, and almost all before age 5. If your baby shows symptoms, don't worry and consult a paediatric dermatologist.
A: Eczema is a common condition that affects many children and adults, so it's nothing to be ashamed of. Speak to a specialist at Medcare's Dermatology centre to keep your eczema under control.