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What are the different types of Eczema in Adults & Children?

Eczema Types

Eczema is a skin condition wherein patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, cracked and rough causing blisters. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, symptoms of eczema were detected in 2.7% of children (In the age group of 6-7 years). Symptoms of severe eczema were detected in 0.3% of adults and lifetime prevalence was 4.4% in the general population.

Types of Eczema in Adults and Children

Atopic dermatitis: This is the most common type of eczema. It develops during the first year of birth in many cases and, hence, it is commonly known as infantile eczema. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, almost 90% of the patients with atopic dermatitis show symptoms before the age of five. These symptoms usually include reddish, dry or oozing, scaly eruptions at the bend of the elbows, back of the knees, neck, face, etc. The skin tends to be extremely dry and very itchy. Infants are unable to control the itching and, hence, it leads to excessive scratching that may result in secondary infections.

An allergic reaction to triggers such as foods or environmental allergens causes this type of eczema. “Atopic” describes an inherited tendency to develop dermatitis, asthma and hay fever; whereas “Dermatitis” means that the skin is red and itchy. Cases of atopic dermatitis are evident in case of a family history of allergy, asthma, hay fever, etc. It is often associated with other allergic and hypersensitive conditions like rhinitis.

Contact dermatitis: This type of eczema develops in localized regions where the skin comes in direct contact with an allergen (allergic contact dermatitis) or an irritant (irritant contact dermatitis). Extended period of contact usually triggers an eczematous reaction over allergens such as food and other environmental factors. However, limited exposure to allergens for a limited period of time can also trigger a rapid eczematous response.

Allergy caused by contact with nickel (a component of artificial jewellery) is one of the most common forms of contact dermatitis. Contact with chains, watches, rings, earrings or other items may also cause red and itchy rashes, which may further result in tiny blisters and peeling of the skin.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis (Dandruff): Seborrhoeic dermatitis is an eczema type that commonly affects the head, margins of the head and the area behind the ears. This type of eczema shows features of reddish rashes with yellowish, oily flakes. It is commonly seen in people with oily skin and scalp and varies depending on the season.

Exfoliative dermatitis: In this type of eczema, the patient experiences a large amount of scaling and flaking on the skin, covering almost the entire body.

Stasis dermatitis: This eczema type occurs in areas of the body with poor blood circulation; for e.g. the ankles. This type of eczema may develop into ulcers in the long run. It is mostly associated with circulatory disorders like varicose veins, among others.

Nummular dermatitis: Nummular eczema, also known as nummular dermatitis or discoid eczema is a chronic type of eczema that causes coin-shaped spots to develop on the skin. These eczema spots are often itchy and well-defined. This eczema type may result in the oozing of clear fluid or dry and crusty skin in many cases.

Neuro-dermatitis: It is an eczema type that develops due to emotional stress, wherein the patient feels intense skin itchiness, especially during resting or relaxing. This type of eczema usually limits itself to areas that are easily accessible to the individual such as lower legs, ankles, back and sides of the neck. It may also affect the wrists, forearms, and genitals.

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What is considered as severe eczema?

Severe eczema refers to the condition where eczema covers a large area of a patient's body. This type of eczema is resistant to treatment and lasts for a long period of time. In more severe cases, patches of dry skin can bleed, crack or crust and even get infected.

Is eczema the same as atopic dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common eczema type. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the incidence of AD has increased 2-3 times in industrialized nations, impacting approximately 15 to 20% of children and 1 to 3% of adults worldwide. It’s a chronic skin condition that can come and go for years and can overlap with other types of eczema.

What is the difference between eczema and atopic eczema?

Eczema is a general term for rash-like skin conditions and the most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. Eczema is often very itchy and tends to become red and inflamed (puffy). Eczema is most commonly seen in babies but also affects children and adults. Whereas atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema) is a chronic eczema type caused by an allergic reaction. “Atopic” is described as an inherited tendency to develop dermatitis, asthma and hay fever. “Dermatitis” refers to the skin that has turned red and itchy. Atopic dermatitis (AD) usually starts during infancy and continues into childhood.

How long does seborrheic dermatitis last on the scalp?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a type of eczema that affects the scalp. Many infants suffer from cradle cap, which is a type of seborrheic dermatitis that develops in babies. This results in scaly, greasy patches on the baby’s scalp. These patches can become thick and crusty in many cases. Cradle cap usually goes away on its own within a few months and requires medical intervention if it doesn’t. When an adult gets seborrheic dermatitis, the condition can be long-lasting. Flare-ups are commonly seen in this eczema type during cold, dry weather and extreme stress.
With the right approach, seborrheic dermatitis (SD) can be treated. Conventional treatments for this eczema type consist of anti-dandruff shampoos and skin softeners. However, usage of these products does not guarantee a permanent cure. These treatments may also increase the chances of recurrence. Homeopathic treatment for seborrheic dermatitis goes deeper into the cause of the disease and provides long-lasting results. It takes into consideration the temperament, likes & dislikes of the individual affected and helps reduce the intensity, frequency and duration of the complaint. To get an individualized, safe, and effective seborrheic dermatitis treatment, book an appointment with us. https://www.drbatras.com/book-an-appointment.

Is Nummular Eczema an autoimmune condition?

The cause for nummular eczema is not known. However, many people with this type of eczema have a family history of allergies, asthma or even atopic dermatitis. People with this eczema type also tend to have sensitive skin that gets easily irritated. The factors mentioned below may contribute to the development of nummular eczema:
  • Temperature/weather changes
  • Extreme stress
  • Dry skin
  • Environmental irritants such as soaps, metals and formaldehyde (a chemical compound found in resins used in the manufacture of composite wood products)
  • In some cases, even surgery

It is recommended to consult an expert to evaluate causes of this condition for an effective and long-lasting treatment.

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