The Causes Aand Types of Eczema
What is Eczema?
Eczema, generally referred to as Dermatitis in medical terms is a disease that affects the skin. There are different types of eczema but all of them affect the skin, hence the “Derma” in the medical term which refers to the skin.
It is a itchy skin rash, with redness and sore skin which could also have oozing of clear liquid and be very uncomfortable to the patient as well as to others who would have to interact with them.
The condition could be either limited to a specific area of the body or it could spread and engulf the whole body depending on the type of eczema the patient is suffering from.
It is now very common to refer any skin condition having the same symptoms of itchiness, redness, soreness and oozing clear fluid as eczema.
Eczema is also known to be a perennial disease that man has experienced and though it is not life threatening it could be quite and irritable disease in the true sense of the word.
There are known records that even early prehistoric man suffered from the disease and resorted to different herbs found in their environment to treat it while others were banished from the close communities that they lived, in the fear that it could spread.
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What causes eczema?
The causes of eczema has still not been identified but there are many reasons that could cause this very irritable and uncomfortable situation if patients young and old.
Very healthy individuals could suffer from this condition with no previous history of such a condition hence it is suspected that it could be a genetic condition.
Some children have the condition during a certain age but when they become older the condition could gradually diminish or profusely increase.
The reasons for either have still not been clinically confirmed or have there been consistency in one patient to make conclusive the results so obtained.
The other reason which too has not been clinically proved is could do with the environment that the patient is exposed to, this is suspected so because when a affected patient moves to another part of the Globe the eczema is known to disappear, but this too are assumptions only because there has been no real evidence to prove and ensure that this is a fact.
As there is no concrete evidence the medication for eczema is generally limited to antibacterial creams that would be applied on the affected areas, but they have not conclusively provided effective results.
The types of Eczema
It is identified as a group of diseases which would have different conditions and are medically defined as Atopic dermatitis, Allergic contact dermatitis, Irritant contact dermatitis, and Stasis dermatitis.
1.Atopic dermatitis also called atopic eczema
The skin cracks, with clear fluid oozing out, with itchiness, inflammatory skin rash and redness. The oozing clear liquid could thicken over time and the skin could either get harder and in some instances persistent redness.
Adults could have the condition either at the back of the knee or the front of the elbow with children under a year old having it all over their bodies, with an unbearable itchiness, which would aggravate the condition.
Scratching could cause skin infections and cause other complications that would be needed to be treated immediately to stop the infection spreading within the body of the patient.
2. Allergic contact dermatitis
This is caused with a person makes contact with a substance, living thing or any other material that causes an allergic reaction and that results in the patient displaying signs of eczema.
For example someone who is allergic to surgical plaster or having had contact with a caterpillar could also suffer from an eczema that could take a few days to heal with treatment or it could develop into a worst situation.
3.Irritant contact dermatitis
This is also a type where the condition occurs when a patient has made contact with either a chemical irritant or a physical irritant.
In the case of a chemical irritant it could be detergents, cleaning chemicals etc that the patient would not have had contact before and would not be aware that he is allergic to it.
In this case too to same symptoms would persist with the patient showing signs of itchiness, redness of the skin, clear fluid oozing out etc.
A physical irritant would be for instance even a rough clothing that has been worn, wearing a shoe of a material that forms the allergy in the feet of the patient, or even some types of materials like paper, plastic etc.
The exact physical property that caused the condition would vary from patient to patient depending on the hidden allergies the person would display when such contact is made which until then was recessive.
This is another condition where the veins do not return sufficient bad blood or venous blood through the veins and the condition called varicose eczema is formed around the veins.
The excessive pressure applied on certain areas where the veins run could get enlarged and the skin would be unable to bear the pressure and a redness could be formed and through it infestions could enter that particular area and a sore skin would be the result.
All of the above eczema do have the same symptoms hence the medical fraternity is at wits end to get their diagnosis right to administer the best treatment possible.
It is a normal practice to treat all or most eczema with the same or similar treatments and no identifiable medication for different eczemas are available in the medical environment, hence treatment has become a major challenge with the disease itself not showing signs of being controlled.
If different medication could be found for the different conditions the relentless fight by the drug research companies could be successful but until then it would be a case of groping in the dark and making do with what is available in the market.