Shingles Vs Eczema: Us Prevalence
Roughly 31.6 million Americans have eczema, with 17.8 million living with the severe eczema. Prevalence of eczema can range from 10.7 to 21 percent across the U.S., depending on the state.
One in three Americans will develop shingles in their lifetime, and the risk of shingles goes up after the age of 50. Roughly one to four percent of shingles patients will be hospitalized for shingles-related complications. These individuals tend to have weakened immune systems.
Ninety-six people die of shingles annually, and deaths are common among senior patients or those with weakened immune systems. There has been a steady incline of shingles cases, though the reason behind this trend is unclear. One theory suggests that less people are exposed to the virus due to the decline of chickenpox cases. As a result, less people are building immunity against it.
Eczema Coping Tips Reducing Skin Irritation
People with eczema have sensitive skin. Irritants such as heat or detergents can easily trigger a bout of eczema.Suggestions for reducing skin irritation include:
- Avoid overheating your skin. Wear several layers of clothing that you can remove, as required, instead of one heavy layer. Dont put too many blankets on your bed and avoid doonas.
- Dont use perfumed bubble bath or bath products labelled medicated.
- Wear soft, smooth materials next to your skin, preferably 100% cotton. Avoid scratchy materials, such as pure wool, polyester or acrylic. You could try a cotton and synthetic mix material this is fine for some people with eczema. Remove labels from clothing.
- Always wear protective gloves when using any type of chemical or detergent. You may want to wear cotton gloves inside rubber or PVC gloves.
- Avoid chlorinated pools. If you have to swim in a chlorinated pool, moisturise your skin well when you get out.
What Causes Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Every time your skin comes into contact with an allergen that it doesnt like, your bodys immune system responds. White blood cells are recruited into the skin, releasing chemical mediators of inflammation. This response causes the itchy rash. The rash may appear minutes, hours or several days after exposure.
Poison ivy is a top cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Other causes include:
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Hives Management And Treatment
- Avoid known triggers
- See an allergist, who is specially trained to look for triggers to your hives and may recommend medications to prevent the hives or reduce the severity of symptoms. Whether your allergist suggests a treatment available only by prescription or an over the counter treatment will depend on several factors, including how uncomfortable the hives are making you.
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Symptoms can last anywhere from minutes to months or even years.
While they resemble bug bites, hives are different in several ways:
- Hives can appear on any area of the body they may change shape, move around, disappear and reappear over short periods of time.
- The bumps red or skin-colored wheals with clear edges usually appear suddenly and go away just as quickly.
- Pressing the center of a red hive makes it turn white a process called blanching.
There are two types of hives short-lived and long-term . Neither is typically life-threatening, though any swelling in the throat or any other symptom that restricts breathing requires immediate emergency care.
Hives usually are caused by other things besides infection, although it could be from a virus. It could be from an allergen, or some sort of an allergy that you have. It could be from a hormonal change. And it even could be emotional in some situations.
Allergist Stanley Fineman, MD
Hives Occur In The Skin And Are Common
Up to 20% of people will develop hives at some time during their life. In most cases, hives are not due to allergy. Underneath the lining of the skin and other body organs are mast cells. Mast cells contain chemicals including histamine. When these are released into the skin they irritate nerve endings to cause local itch and irritation and make local blood vessels expand and leak fluid, triggering redness and swelling.
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Is It Hives Or Something Else
Many skin disorders can cause irritated, itchy rashes, making it difficult to distinguish between chronic hives and other skin conditions.
Itching, swelling, and red and white welts are all signs you may have hives or chronic idiopathic hives, if the welts appear consistently for six weeks or more and have no known cause. While any skin rash might seem to you to be an allergic reaction or hives, the reality is there are numerous skin disorders that can be mistaken for chronic hives.
How to Tell if Its Chronic Hives
If you notice a persistent, itchy skin rash, seeing a dermatologist is a good first step toward confirming a diagnosis and finding relief. Giving a complete medical history and undergoing a physical exam are the best ways to determine whats causing the rash or hives, and if there is a more serious skin disorder behind it, explains Joseph L. Jorizzo, MD, a professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and Wake Forest Baptist Health University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
5 Skin Disorders Often Confused With Hives
Hives can be mistaken for other skin disorders, such as:
Pityriasis rosea. This common skin disease causes a splotchy red rash that appears on the body and typically lasts around six to eight weeks, although sometimes much longer. Unlike chronic hives, pityriasis rosea usually disappears on its own without treatment.
More Serious Skin Problems
How To Help Prevent Eczema Blisters From Popping Up
Eczema blisters can sometimes be unavoidable, but sticking to your eczema treatment plan can help keep them at bay. Take medication as prescribed and keep your skin properly moisturized. Scratching will only make the condition worse and invite infection, according to the Cleveland Clinic, so try to resist the temptation.
Additional reporting by Regina Boyle Wheeler.
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How Infected Eczema Is Treated
The way you treat infected eczema depends on whether it was caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungi. Viral infections may be treated with antiviral medications or allowed to heal themselves.
Antibiotics are used in bacterial infections. Mild bacterial-infected eczema is treated with a topical antibiotic first. A steroid cream may also be used to reduce inflammation.
Oral antibiotics are reserved for more severe cases of infected eczema. Theyre also used for infections that have spread to other parts of your body.
A fungal infection may also be treated with steroids. Its treated with topical antifungal creams as well.
Some people prefer using natural treatments in addition to prescription medications. This is due to the long-term side effects of steroids, such as thinning skin.
You may consider the following natural treatments, as well as the pros and cons of each:
- herbal supplements for eczema flares, such as primrose oil
- essential oils, such as borage, evening primrose, and tea tree
- probiotics, to offset gastrointestinal side effects from antibiotics
- natural soaps and creams with emollients, to decrease skin inflammation
Be aware that natural treatments for eczema and skin infections havent been widely studied for safety or efficacy.
Make sure you discuss all these options with your doctor first before trying them out.
Infected eczema may lead to the following complications:
You may need to go to the hospital if you start experiencing:
- low energy
- excessive fatigue
What Is Eczema Herpeticum
Herpes does not cause serious health problems for someone with a healthy immune system. However, if a person with eczema becomes infected with one of the herpes simplex viruses HSV-1 or HSV-2 they may develop eczema herpeticum.
Eczema herpeticum is a rare but potentially serious complication. It can happen when areas of the skin that eczema affects come into contact with the herpes virus.
It is most likely to result from contact with a cold sore and usually occurs on the:
Symptoms of eczema herpeticum usually appear 512 days after exposure to sores from the herpes virus. The symptoms typically present as follows:
- A cold sore may be an initial symptom.
- A blistering rash can appear over 710 days. The blisters form a cluster and may cover a large area. They may break open, be itchy or painful, weep, bleed, or have pus or yellow fluid inside.
- The person may feel unwell, with swollen lymph nodes, a fever, chills, and fatigue starting as the rash appears.
Eczema herpeticum is a medical emergency because it can lead to severe and sometimes life threatening complications, such as:
- herpetic keratitis, an infection in the cornea of the eye that can lead to vision loss without treatment
- organ failure and death, if the virus spreads to the brain, lungs, and liver
- long-term scarring
Eczema herpeticum can occur in people with any condition or injury that involves damaged skin, such as:
- contact dermatitis
- other irritants or allergens
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Symptoms Of Discoid Eczema
Discoid eczema causes distinctive circular or oval patches of eczema. It can affect any part of the body, although it does not usually affect the face or scalp.
The first sign of discoid eczema is usually a group of small spots or bumps on the skin. These then quickly join up to form larger patches that can range from a few millimetres to several centimetres in size.
On lighter skin these patches will be pink or red. On darker skin these patches can be a dark brown or they can be paler than the skin around them.
Initially, these patches are often swollen, blistered and ooze fluid. They also tend to be very itchy, particularly at night.
Over time, the patches may become dry, crusty, cracked and flaky. The centre of the patch also sometimes clears, leaving a ring of discoloured skin that can be mistaken for ringworm.
You may just have 1 patch of discoid eczema, but most people get several patches. The skin between the patches is often dry.
Patches of discoid eczema can sometimes become infected. Signs of an infection can include:
- the patches oozing a lot of fluid
- a yellow crust developing over the patches
- the skin around the patches becoming hot, swollen and tender or painful
- feeling sick
- feeling unwell
Tips To Prevent Flare
To manage eczema, you need to moisturize daily and take your medication as your doctor prescribed it. It also helps to avoid allergy triggers. Try these tips:
You can also ask your doctor about allergy shots. These slowly expose your body to more and more of something that triggers your allergies. Over time, these shots can stop allergy symptoms. They can also help some people with their eczema.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Atopic Dermatitis.”
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Atopic Dermatitis ” “Food Allergies,” “Dust Mite Allergy,” “Mold Allergy,” “Pollen Allergy.”
American Academy of Dermatology: “Atopic Dermatitis: Who Gets and Causes,” “What is Eczema?”
EczemaNet: “Types of Eczema: Atopic Dermatitis.”
Eczema.org: “Dry skin and atopic eczema: An Update on the Filaggrin Story … What Does It Mean to You?”
Journal of Cell Science: âFilaggrin in the frontline: role in skin barrier function and disease.â
National Eczema Association: “Research Confirms Genetic Skin Barrier Linked to Eczema,” “Causes & Triggers,” “What About Food Allergies?” “What About Other Allergies?”
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: “Skin Allergy Overview.”
American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology: “Eczema in Children,” “Testing Standards.”
PLOS Biology: âSkin-Derived TSLP Triggers Progression from Epidermal-Barrier Defects to Asthma.â
WAO Journal: âHalting the Allergic March.â
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Can I Pop Dyshidrotic Eczema Blisters
Dyshidrotic eczema, also known as pompholyx eczema or dermatitis, is characterized by tiny blisters that are very itchy. These blisters frequently pop on their own. Intentionally popping dyshidrotic eczema blisters is not recommend. However, larger blisters can be drained by a doctor using a sterile syringe.
Difference Between Hives And Eczema
Categorized under Disease,Health,Science | Difference Between Hives and Eczema
Hives vs Eczema
Hives and Eczema are both allergic skin conditions. The medical term for hives is Urticaria. Eczema is a term commonly used for a condition called atopic dermatitis though most often it is used for the chronic stage. Hives and Eczema both arise as a result of a heightened immune reaction of the body but there is a vast difference between the two.
Difference in causes:
Hives occur due to the release of histamine, a substance produced by the mast cells in the skin, when the skin is exposed to an allergen. This causes fluid to ooze out from the superficial blood vessels in the skin. The possible triggering factors for hives are pollens, animal dander, insect stings, sun exposure, fresh fruits, fish, shell fish, milk products and peanuts. Hives can also be triggered by exercise, bathing with hot or cold water, stress and in extreme cases, just by stroking or scratching the skin. Depending on the triggers, hives has been given different names.
Eczema is usually associated with other respiratory allergies and is common in people with a family history of asthma. It occurs as a result of an exaggerated response of the immune system and due to certain defects in the skin barrier. The exact cause of eczema is unknown but some common irritants to the skin could be soaps, detergents, shampoos and sometimes dust mites.
Difference in manifestations:
Difference in treatment:
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Eczema Blisters: How To Help Prevent And Treat Them
In some cases, blisters can develop along with the red, itchy skin of eczema. Treatment for eczema blisters needs to be tailored to the underlying type of eczema you have.
When you have eczema, you learn about managing red, inflamed patches of skin that can itch intensely. You might also sometimes have to contend with another type of outbreak eczema blisters that can cause even more discomfort and embarrassment.
Eczema is not a single skin condition, but rather a family of conditions that cause the skin to become swollen, irritated, and itchy, according to the National Eczema Association . It is very common, with more than 31 million Americans having some form of eczema, the organization reports.
One symptom, blisters, occurs in response to inflamed or damaged skin, explains Peter Lio, MD, a dermatologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. They are essentially bubbles filled with fluid.
This fluid, referred to as serous fluid, is ultimately a blood filtration product and is similar to when there is swelling in an area such as a swollen ankle after a sprain, he says. In the skin, the fluid can be very concentrated around blood vessels and can be superficial enough to cause tiny blisters rather than just swelling of an area.
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Are Shingles And Eczema Contagious
Shingles is highly contagious to those who are not immune to the virus. Shingles can be transmitted through direct contact with sores, but a person who contracts shingles from an affected person will develop chickenpox, not shingles.
If you have shingles, in order to reduce transmission of shingles to others, ensure your rash is well covered, avoid scratching and touching the rash, wash your hands often, and avoid contact with at-risk people like pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, individuals undergoing cancer treatment, and premature or low-weight babies.
Eczema, on the other hand, is not contagious and cannot be passed on from person to person. It is important to note if the rash becomes infected then the infection is contagious.
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What Do Psoriasis And Eczema Look Like
Signs and symptoms of psoriasis
The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis appears as thick, raised, red patches on the skin that are covered with white scales made of old, dead skin cells. These plaques can be itchy and painful. They can also crack and bleed.
Psoriasis can affect any part of the skin, but it usually shows up on the knees, elbows, scalp, and lower back. Other forms of psoriasis can occur on the genitals or in your skin folds, like in your armpits . Psoriasis can also just involve the hands and feet .
Up to 35% of people with psoriasis also have nail changes related to psoriasis. This includes:
Small pits or holes in the nail
Yellow or brown nail color
Thickening of the nail
Changes to the nail shape
There are several other serious health problems that can be more likely if you have psoriasis. Some of the more common issues include:
Signs and symptoms of eczema
Eczema appears as red, dry patches of skin that are very itchy. Some people with eczema scratch these areas a lot, which can lead to bleeding and thick or leathery skin. Unlike psoriasis, eczema can become infected with bacteria or viruses.
Although eczema can affect any part of the skin, some areas are more common. In infants, eczema usually happens on the cheeks, elbows, and knees. In older children and adults, eczema usually affects the insides of the elbows, behind the knees, and the hands and wrists.
When Infections Cause Eczema Blisters
People with eczema are more prone to infections because burst blisters or damaged, raw skin can be a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, or viruses, says Amy Kassouf, MD, a dermatologist with the Cleveland Clinic in Twinsburg, Ohio.
One particularly dangerous infection is called eczema herpeticum the result of atopic dermatitis and contact with the herpes simplex 1 virus , the virus that causes cold sores and some cases of genital herpes, according to the NEA. The infection can occur when someone with even mild eczema has skin-to-skin contact with HSV-1. Many watery eczema blisters break out and are very itchy. The infection spreads fast, leading to fever and flu-like symptoms, and the fluid inside the blisters turns to yellow pus.
If the infection is untreated, it can eventually affect vital organs and ultimately lead to death, although thats rare, the NEA says. Treatment for eczema herpeticum consists of antiviral medications and painkillers as needed.
Infections from the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can also cause pus-filled blisters and honey-colored crusting over the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. Treatment of a staph infection includes antibiotics and drainage of blisters or wounds.
Signs an eczema blister has become infected include red color, warmth to the touch, whitish liquid drainage, and swelling, Rieder says.
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