Atopic dermatitis or more commonly known as eczema is a condition that makes the skin red and itchy. Eczema skin disease is more common in children, but can also occur in all adults. In addition, dry skin is a very common complaint in almost all people who suffer from atopic dermatitis.
Causes of Eczema
The cause of eczema is not known with certainty, but this disease seems to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In addition, eczema skin diseases that cause itching can also be affected due to basic skin hypersensitivity, while fever (seasonal allergies) and asthma are also widely owned by someone who has eczema.
In addition, eczema skin disease may also be caused by:
- Many sufferers of eczema are those who experience a decrease in the amount or form of a protein called filaggrin in the skin. This protein seems to be important in maintaining normal skin hydration.
- Eczema sufferer is someone who seems to have a weak immune system.
- Patients also tend to develop fungal foot disease, Staphylococcus bacterial infections, and they can spread herpes in the lips and mouth (eczema herpeticum) and smallpox vaccination (eczema vaccinatum) to large areas of the skin.
Someone at high risk of having eczema are those who have a history of eczema before, have allergies, have a fever, or have asthma in the family. Sometimes food allergies can also play a role, especially in children with severe eczema.
While emotional and stress factors can sometimes worsen the condition, even so the condition does not seem to be a major cause of eczema skin disease.
Types of Eczema
The following are the types of eczema that you can recognize, including:
- Discoid eczema, a type of eczema that occurs in circles or ovals on the skin.
- Contact dermatitis, a type of eczema that occurs when the body comes in contact with certain substances.
- Varicose eczema, the type of eczema that most often attacks the lower limbs and is caused by blood flow problems through the leg veins.
- Seborrhoeic eczema, a type of eczema in which red and scaly patches appear on the sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, and scalp.
- Dyshidrotic eczema (pompholyx), a type of eczema that causes small blisters on the palms.
The symptoms of eczema skin disease vary greatly from person to person. The symptoms can have certain triggers such as soap, detergent, stress and weather.
The following are some of the symptoms of eczema, including:
- Dry skin.
- Itching, it might get worse especially at night.
- Small bumps appear.
- The skin will thicken, break, and scaly.
- The skin becomes sensitive and swollen (usually due to scratching).
- Red to gray-brown patches especially on the hands and feet, neck, upper chest, eyelids, elbows, knees, while in infants the face and scalp are more common.
In some cases, eczema is a condition that often starts before the age of 5 years and can last into adolescents and adults. For some people, eczema can appear periodically and then disappear temporarily, even up to several years.
When is the Right Time to See a Doctor?
See your doctor immediately if you or your child experience:
- Make discomfort to affect the quality of sleep and daily activities.
- Having a skin infection, red streaks, pus, and yellow scabs appear.
- Continues to experience symptoms despite trying home remedies.
Seek immediate medical attention if a rash and revenge arises in children.
The diagnosis of eczema skin disease that is generally done by doctors is to examine the skin and review the overall health history. The diagnosis of eczema can also use patch tests or other tests to rule out other skin diseases or identify the conditions that accompany eczema.
If you suspect that certain foods cause rashes in children, tell your doctor and ask questions about how to identify potential food allergies. Please note, laboratory tests are not needed to identify eczema.
The diagnosis of eczema is generally done if you have an itchy skin condition in the past 12 months or some of the following conditions:
- Red skin is irritated in the folds of the skin, such as the inside of the elbows, behind the knees, on the cheeks, and the outside of the elbows.
- A history of skin irritation that occurs in the same area.
- Dry skin in the past 12 months.
- Family history of asthma.
Is there an effective way to treat eczema? Basically, eczema treatment only helps relieve symptoms, because until now there has been no effective drug to treat this eczema skin disease.
You may need to try various treatments for months or years to control it. If the treatment shows good results, you need to be aware because the symptoms of eczema can reappear.
Therefore, it is important to recognize the condition of eczema early so that you can begin treatment. The following are some ways to treat eczema that you can do, including:
- Wet dressings
Wet dressings are an effective and intensive treatment for severe eczema. This method is done by wrapping the affected area with topical corticosteroids and wet bandages. Sometimes this way of treating eczema must be done in a hospital for people with extensive lesions.
- Light therapy
This treatment is used for people who don’t get better with topical treatment or who recur quickly after treatment. The simplest form of light therapy (phototherapy) is exposing the skin to a controlled amount of natural sunlight. Other forms use artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) narrow bands either alone or with medication.
Although effective, long-term light therapy has harmful effects, including premature aging of the skin and an increased risk of skin cancer. For this reason, phototherapy is used less often in young children and is not given to babies. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of light therapy.
Talking with a therapist or counselor can help sufferers who are embarrassed or frustrated with their skin condition.
- Relaxation, behavior modification and biofeedback
How to treat eczema can help people who have the habit of scratching.
In addition to therapy, the next way to treat eczema is with the help of medicines, including:
- A cream that controls itching and helps improve skin
Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroid creams or ointments. Apply as directed, overuse of this drug can cause side effects, including thinning of the skin.
Other creams that contain drugs called calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolim and pimecrolimus can affect the immune system. This drug is used to control skin reactions. Avoid direct sunlight when using this product.
- Medication to fight infection
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic creams if your skin has a bacterial infection, open sores or cracks. In addition, doctors can also recommend taking oral antibiotics for a short time to treat infections.
- Oral medication to control inflammation
In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids such as prednisone. These drugs are effective but cannot be used in the long run because of the potential for serious side effects.