What is Eczema?
If your skin itches and turns red from time to time, you might have eczema. Eczema, which is also called atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that is itchy and inflamed patches of skin. People with eczema often have allergies or asthma. Eczema can come in a variety of types in children, teens, and adults. Each type of eczema has its own set of symptoms and triggers. And according to National Eczema Association, there are 7 types of eczema. Read on to find out more about the 7 different types of eczema.
Types of Eczema
1. Atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. It usually starts in childhood, and often gets milder or goes away by age. Atopic dermatitis is part of what doctor calls the atopic triad. “Triad” means three. It means that, those who have atopic dermatitis have the other 2 diseases and they are asthma and hay fever.
In atopic dermatitis:
- the rash often forms in the creases of your elbows or knees
- skin in areas where the rash appears may turn lighter or darker, or get thicker
- small bumps may appear and leak fluid if you scratch them
- babies often get the rash on their scalp and cheeks
- your skin can get infected if you scratch it
2. Contact dermatitis
If you have red, irritated skin that’s caused by a reaction to substances you touch, you may have contact dermatitis. It comes in two types: Allergic contact dermatitis is an immune system reaction to an irritant like latex or metal. Irritant contact dermatitis starts when a chemical or other substance irritates your skin.
In contact dermatitis:
- your skin itches, turns red, burns, and stings
- itchy bumps called hives may pop up on your skin
- fluid-filled blisters can form that may ooze and crust over
- over time, the skin may thicken and feel scaly or leathery
3. Dyshidrotic eczema
Dyshidrotic eczema causes small blisters to form on your hands and feet. It’s more common in women than men.
In dyshidrotic eczema:
- fluid-filled blisters form on your fingers, toes, palms, and soles of your feet
- these blisters may itch or hurt
- the skin can scale, crack, and flake
4. Hand eczema
Eczema that only affects your hands is called hand eczema. You may get this type if you work in a job like hairdressing or cleaning, where you regularly use chemicals that irritate the skin.
In hand eczema:
- your hands get red, itchy, and dry
- they may form cracks or blisters
Neurodermatitis is similar to atopic dermatitis. It causes thick, scaly patches to pop up on your skin.
- thick, scaly patches form on your arms, legs, back of your neck, scalp, bottoms of your feet, backs of your hands, or genitals
- these patches can be very itchy, especially when you’re relaxed or asleep
- if you scratch the patches, they can bleed and get infected
6. Nummular eczema
This type of eczema causes round, coin-shaped spots to form on your skin. The word “nummular” means coin in Latin. Nummular eczema looks very different from other types of eczema, and it can itch a lot.
In nummular eczema:
- round, coin-shaped spots form on your skin
- the spots may itch or become scaly
7. Stasis dermatitis
Stasis dermatitis happens when fluid leaks out of weakened veins into your skin. This fluid causes swelling, redness, itching, and pain.
In stasis dermatitis:
- the lower part of your legs may swell up, especially during the day when you’ve been walking
- your legs may ache or feel heavy
- you’ll likely also have varicose veins, which are thick, ropey damaged veins in your legs
- the skin over those varicose veins will be dry and itchy
- you may develop open sores on your lower legs and on the tops of your feet
Eczema affects nearly 30 million individuals, yet many don’t know much about the widespread disease. Here are five little known facts about eczema that may surprise you
There are many different kinds of eczema
There are numerous types of eczema. This point is important to remember because different eczema has different treatment. It is very difficult to self-diagnose, and treatments that are available over the counter are often ineffective. Therefore, it is recommended to see a dermatologist if you experience symptoms such is itching, skin redness, flaking, or irritation. This ensures you are properly diagnosed and are given the best available treatment.
‘Atopic dermatitis’ is not synonymous with ‘eczema’
Atopic dermatitis is often known as eczema. But in reality, atopic dermatitis is only one type out of 7 types of eczema. Most cases of atopic dermatitis begin in infancy or childhood. In fact, between 10% and 20% of infants are affected. For most infants, eczema begins to fade away spontaneously between the ages of 5 and 10. Some cases, however, persist into adulthood and can remain quite severe.
Eczema affects individuals of all ages
Unlike atopic dermatitis, other forms of eczema can develop only in adulthood. Asteototic eczema, for example, increases in frequency with age, and is very common in the elderly. It is a common form of eczema seen in people who have extremely dry skin. It becomes increasingly common as we get older, and many people in their 60s and beyond are affected. It begins as severe dry skin and can lead to microscopic cracking of the skin surface, if not treated, along with itching that can be severe.
Eczema can lead to other skin problems
Eczema, particularly when severe, can make people more prone to a number of other conditions. Infections, including warts, molluscum, and staph bacterial, are more common. Dark discoloration and thickening of chronically itchy skin are also common.
With proper treatment, the disease can be controlled.
Most cases of eczema can be controlled and cleared, as long as the appropriate treatment is administered. By visiting your dermatology, you can receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan to address your individual needs.
Eczema is a common inflammatory skin condition. The most common type is called atopic dermatitis. Eczema is most common in children, but the majority grow out of it by the time they reach adolescence. Although there is currently no cure, people can treat and prevent eczema flares using home remedies, moisturizers, medications, and lifestyle changes. If you want to know more, we are here to help you! SkynFyx is a platform that provides completely free skincare education. Feel free to contact us if you have any inquiries in regard to skincare.