Eczema is a common skin disease that can affect virtually anybody. The most common form of eczema is also known as Atopic Dermatitis. Children are likely to get eczema in their first year itself. Symptoms are usually dry and scaly skin patches on scalp, forehead and face. This can cause severe itchiness, loss of sleep and other infections of skin. This type of eczema in children is difficult to eradicate. So, proper skin care must be taken at an early stage.
How to recognize eczema?
Infants usually develop Eczema in their first year of life. Itchiness starts from 2-3 months of age. The skin becomes dry and flaky. Usually it occurs in cheek and scalp. Sometimes, small sores can be seen with secretions. Children usually rub their body parts against bed, which exposes them more to the risk of other skin of infections. Sometimes it is thought that the disease is caused from diaper infection, which is a misconception. Children from two years to teenagers usually experience rash and itching in elbows and knees. At this age, eczema symptoms are commonly visible on shoulder, heel, wrist and seat area. Sometimes, areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear. The affected skin area may become thickened due to excessive itching.
Almost in 90% of cases Atopic Dermatitis affects children. However, one can develop eczema at any stage of life. Regular signs such as skin rash, itching, flaky skin can be observed on shoulders, knees and elbows. Adults sometimes develop eczema around eyes that may become quite unsightly at times. Adults are also more prone to develop peeling and scaly skin than children. If someone suffers from Atopic Eczema for a long time, the area of skin may become black and thickened.
If someone had suffered from eczema in childhood, he or she may develop eczema again later on in life. Most of the times signs of eczema appear on hand. Usually the person grows up with dry or a very sensitive skin. Severe eczema in adolescence may also cause cataract in young adults.
What causes eczema?
The reasons of eczema are not yet fully known. Experts relate eczema to various genetic and environmental factors. Children who grow up in cleaner environment are more likely to catch eczema. Since these children have not been sufficiently exposed to the environment they don’t develop immunity. Children born to women over thirty-five have greater chance to develop eczema. Eczema is also caused from Asthma and allergies. Eczema is also more visible in people in cities, may be due to pollution.
Facts about eczema
- Eczema is non-contagious.
- Eczema is genetic.
- Baby girls suffer from eczema more than boys.
- Eczema is aggravated during winter.
- 90% eczema sufferers are below the age of five years.
Some specific types of food are known to trigger eczema. Dairy products, seafood, all types of nuts, coffee, soybean etc. can worsen eczema to a great extent. The allergy and eczema causing food items may vary greatly from person to person. Expert advice should be taken before changing diet plan to ensure proper nutrition.
Avoid itching of affected area. Apply commercially available moisturizers or home made pack to keep the skin moist all the time. Good antibiotic or anti allergic cream or lotion should be used. Seek expert opinion before using any medicinal product. Keep the infected area clean to avoid further infection.
Phototherapy has become very popular for eczema treatment now a days. It is also known as UV therapy. The affected area is exposed to controlled amount of UV rays for a limited time. Although UV therapy is known to cure eczema to a great extent, there are certain risks involved, too. UV ray has significant contribution to causes of skin cancer. It is also known to prematurely age the skin.
Some people try other natural therapies to cure eczema and are known to have satisfactory results using them. These mainly involve maintaining specific diet, usage of herbal items and home made remedies.