Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that causes red, itchy and dry skin. This condition affects millions of people worldwide and can be extremely uncomfortable and painful, causing a significant impact on the quality of life. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it is believed to be related to genetic, environmental and immune system factors. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of eczema and the available treatment options.
Symptoms of Eczema
Eczema can affect people of all ages, but it is most commonly diagnosed in children and infants. The symptoms of eczema vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms include:
Red, inflamed skin
Eczema causes the skin to become red, inflamed, and irritated. This redness can be patchy or widespread, and can be accompanied by swelling and tenderness.
Itching is one of the most common and distressing symptoms of eczema. The itching can be severe and unrelenting, and scratching can make the condition worse.
Eczema can cause the skin to become dry, scaly, and flaky. This dryness can be severe, leading to cracks and fissures that can be painful and susceptible to infection.
Blisters and crusts
In severe cases of eczema, blisters and crusts can form on the skin. These blisters can be filled with fluid and can break open, leading to crusting and scarring.
Dark patches of skin
In some cases, eczema can cause dark patches of skin to form. These patches are called hyperpigmentation and can be difficult to treat.
Eczema can cause rashes to form on the skin. These rashes can be itchy, painful, and can cause swelling.
Treatments for Eczema
The treatment of eczema is aimed at relieving symptoms, preventing infection, and improving the appearance of the skin. There is no cure for eczema, but treatment can help to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
Treatments for Eczema includes:
Topical Corticosteroids: Topical corticosteroids are creams and ointments applied directly to the skin to reduce redness and itching.
Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors: Topical calcineurin inhibitors, such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, are non-steroidal creams and ointments that reduce skin inflammation.
Moisturizers: Moisturizers help to hydrate and soothe dry, itchy skin.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines can help to relieve itching and improve sleep.
Light Therapy: Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, involves exposing the skin to controlled amounts of natural or artificial light to improve symptoms.
Systemic Medications: In severe cases, oral medications, such as corticosteroids, may be prescribed to help manage symptoms.
Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. While there is no cure for eczema, treatment can help to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. If you think you may have eczema, it is important to see a doctor or dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.