Eczema is an inflammation of the skin and may be associated with an allergic reaction, although the cause is often unknown. Childhood eczema is sometimes found behind the knee or in the bend of an elbow and will often clear up by the time the child reaches puberty. Eczema affects more than 15 million Americans and ten percent of all children have eczema. Eczema often runs in families and may be exacerbated by stress or contact with certain chemicals or other allergens.
There are several different types of eczema.
Atopic Eczema. The most common of all eczemas is Atopic Eczema which is often present along with asthma and hay fever. People of all ages can be affected, but there seems to be a trend for it to run in families. A common symptom is itchiness that can become very uncomfortable. The skin has an overall dryness, can become very red, and highly inflamed. Persistent scratching only worsens the condition and can cause skin infections. If infected, the skin can weep and have cracks in it. NB! Skin hydration must be maintained.
Allergic Contact Eczema results when the body has a reaction to skin contact with a substance that the immune system finds unacceptable. The reaction may be immediate, or can develop over an extended period of time. Some of the typical substances are nickel, perfumes, cloth, rubber, and tin. Some of these substances may be found of the commonest of items, such as rings, buckles, buttons on clothes, watches, and other jewelry.
Irritant Contact Eczema is caused by contact with substances that could be encountered daily, such as soaps, certain chemicals, and detergents. Hairdressers and beauticians often find themselves with rashes and inflamed skin. As with atopic eczema, keeping the skin moist can help in preventing an outbreak. Herbal products, unlike remedies containing drugs, can be used often during the day without any adverse side affects.
Infantile Seborrhoeic Eczema can be very common for children under 1 year of age. The reason for this condition, also called cradle cap is not fully understood. While it is not considered to be serious and causes the baby no unwell feelings, it can be treated with herbal products to help clear the condition. It usually lasts only a few months. See our safe and effective BabyNature Cradle-Cap Salve for natural treatment on infant cradle cap.
Adult Seborrhoeic Eczema can be more serious than the infant version. It can be found in the scalp and can spread to the face, ears, neck, and chest. The skin becomes inflamed, red, and can flake.
Varicose Eczema is a condition found in the lower leg. People in their middle to late years are found most likely to encounter this eczema. Poor circulation is suspected. The ankles are most often affected and if the skin is left untreated, ulcers can develop. Typical treatment is an emollient, especially one that can improve the general health of the skin.
Discoid Eczema most often occurs in adults. It appears as a small, coin shaped redness of the skin. Most often it is found on the trunk or lower legs. These can erupt or weep. Emollients are a usual treatment, but care should be taken that the skin does not become infected.