Eczema, a general term describing conditions affecting the skin, has many specific descriptions depending on appearance and location, frequency of occurance, and cause of occurance. Often, certain conditions will have two or more descriptions depending on what the Doctor thinks the cause is. For example: Xerotic, Asteatosis and Atopic refer to dry skin that usually affects older people making the skin drier and if not treated causes the skin to crack. Nummular Dermatitis or Discoid Eczema found on the arms or legs and consists of patches of reddish discolored skin. Other names are Contact Dermatitis or Allergic Contact Dermatitis occurring when the skin is exposed to allergens usually found in products people use like medications and deodorants and sometimes your own sweat. It usually shows up on the arms and hands. Venous or Stasis Dermatitis affects the lower limbs and the itching causes dark reddish skin. It is usually found on the lower extremities – legs and feet and frequently appears on people with reduced blood circulation. Lichen Simplex Chronicus or Neurodermatitis usually found on the groin, neck and ankles and is usually caused by severe rubbing. Jock itch is probably a form. Seborrhea or Seborrheic Dermatitis appears as scaling or pimpelling around the eyes or on the scalp. In babies it appears as a yellowish rash on the scalp and is curable. Other specific descriptions exist, but all are a form of Eczema. Some forms are curable. Others are not. Some are inherited and occur periodically. These cases can usually be controlled. None are considered contagious. Causes of Eczema can be allergens and irritants found in food, soaps, cleansers, solvents, cosmetics, plants, weeds, animals fibers, chemicals, toxins in the air, over washing, diuretic medications, nutrition deficiencies, radiation, malignancies, neurological disorders, wind, humidity, decreased sweating, dry air, under active thyroid, metals, and inherited factors. Some forms can be caused by and co-exist with other maladies. You name it, it seems, and one could acquire Eczema from it. Treatments for Eczema are many and may often consist of reduced bathing, using moisturizers, ointments, emollients, humectants, topical steroids, retinoid, ultra violet light, phototherapy, even coal tar (one of the early means of treatment). It is best to let your Doctor determine the best choice for treatment. Eczema affects people of all ages, even babies. Baby Eczema usually shows up in yellow splotches on the scalp; and reddish cheeks with what looks like pimples or blisters that may secret fluid. Older folks who may not secret as much oil as younger people, and often get dry skin which if not treated can crack, scale and become for rash like. It can be painful. Scratching an itchy area only aggravates the condition. If you or a loved one are experiencing itches that don’t go away, or red, pink or dark red areas that itch and don’t go away, try not to scratch or rub too vigorously and see your Doctor for proper treatment. Failure to treat can cause infections that lead to even more severe complications.

For detailed information and photo’s Google for the Eczema Guide.

Richard Prosser

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