What Causes A Fungal Skin Infection Vs Eczema
Fungal Skin Infection Causes
An overgrowth of the fungus Candida is the cause of yeast infections. Candidal infections commonly occur in warm, moist body areas, such as the underarms or where skin folds over itself like breast/chest skin. Usually, the skin effectively blocks yeast, but any skin breakdown or cuts in the skin may allow this organism to penetrate and infect.
Areas typically affected by the fungus in babies include the mouth and diaper areas. Moist diapers can lead to an overgrowth of yeast.
In adults, oral yeast infections become more common with increased age. Adults can also have yeast infections around dentures, in the folds under the breast and lower abdomen, in the nail beds, and beneath other skin folds. Most of these candidal infections are superficial and clear up easily with treatment.
In women, vaginal yeast infections are the second most common reason for vaginal burning, itching, and discharge. Yeasts are found in the vagina of most women and can overgrow if the environment in the vagina changes. Antibiotic and steroid use is the most common reason for yeast overgrowth. However, pregnancy, menstruation, diabetes, and birth control pills can also contribute to developing a yeast infection. Yeast infections are more common after menopause.
Common triggers of atopic dermatitis include the following:
No Matter Where You Have Eczema
Theres a universal rule for atopic dermatitis in any location: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! When you have eczema, your skin barrier is damaged, leaving skin drier and more vulnerable to baddies like allergens and irritants. Frequent hydrating can reinforce the barrier, helping to prevent moisture loss and decrease itchiness, says Marisa Garshick, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.
A thick ointment can help repair skin on any body part and also protect against external factors, says Dr. Garshick. Slick it on right after showering, when skin is slightly damp, so it will penetrate deeply. And dont skimp! More = smoother skin and, ideally, fewer future flares. Hence, feel free to use such an ointment anytime, even when youre not in the middle of an episode.
Why Do Kids Get Eczema
Skin has special cells that react when they come in contact with anything that irritates them. They make the skin inflamed to protect it. If you have eczema, these cells overreact when something triggers them and they start to work overtime. That’s what makes your skin red, sore, and itchy.
No one is really sure why people get eczema. It’s not contagious no one can catch it from you and you can’t catch it from anyone else. Kids who get eczema often have family members with hay fever , asthma , or other things known as “atopic” conditions.
More than half of the kids who get eczema will also someday develop hay fever or asthma themselves. Eczema is not an allergy itself, but allergies can be a trigger for eczema. That means that if you have allergies to things like dust or animal dander, your eczema may flare up sometimes.
Aside from allergies, some things that can set off eczema include:
- soaps, detergents, or perfumes
- dry winter air with little moisture
- other things that can irritate your skin, like scratchy fabrics
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What Is Eczema What Does It Look And Feel Like
Eczema is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy. Its one of many types of dermatitis. Eczema damages the skin barrier function . This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness.
Eczema doesnt harm your body. It doesnt mean that your skin is dirty or infected, and its not contagious. There are treatments that can help manage your symptoms.
In the word dermatitis, derm means skin and itis means inflammation. The word as a whole means inflammation of the skin. Eczema originates from the Greek word ekzein which means to boil over or break out.
What Is It Like Living With Eczema
Many people live with eczema . As many as 15 million Americans may have this skin condition. Living with it can be challenging.
There may be times when your eczema disappears. This is known as a remission period. Other times you may have a flare-up, which is when it gets worse. The goal of treatment is to prevent such flare-ups, preventing your symptoms from getting worse. Be sure to avoid triggers, moisturize, take your medicine and do anything else your healthcare provider recommends.
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What Foods Should I Eat Or Avoid To Reduce My Risk Of Eczema
The connection between eczema and food allergies is unclear. If you have food allergies, then one of the reasons why you must avoid that food is that it may cause or worsen dermatitis. Examples of common allergies include peanuts, dairy, eggs, sugar, alcohol and gluten. Pay attention to what you eat. If your eczema flares up after you eat a certain food, then you might have an allergy to it.
If you dont have a food allergy then there are no foods, including chicken, that will cause or worsen your eczema.
What Is It Like Living With Dermatitis
Dermatitis is both common and normal. Many people live with it.
Managing your symptoms is important for living with dermatitis. Do your best to keep your dermatitis under control. You can do this by following your healthcare providers instructions. Try your at-home remedies and take any prescribed medications.
You may find that there are times when your dermatitis disappears. This is known as a remission period. Other times you may have a flare up, which is when your dermatitis gets worse.
Do your best not to scratch your dermatitis as this can lead to infections and scars.
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Things You Can Do To Ease Pompholyx
You should try to avoid contact with anything that might irritate your skin, including soaps, shampoos and other household chemicals.
Use an emollient as a soap substitute and wear cotton-lined gloves when you’re at risk of contact with other potentially irritating substances, such as when washing your hair or doing housework.
Do not burst the blisters. Let them heal on their own. If they’re particularly big, your GP may be able to drain them.
Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Psoriasis
Psoriasis and dermatitis can appear similar. Both cause patches of red skin. However, in psoriasis, the scales are thick and the edges of those scales are well-defined.
Discuss with your healthcare provider your questions about which type of skin condition you have. You can have more than one skin condition at a time. Treatments for one may not work for the other.
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Living With Eczema And Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema can flare up when you are under stress. Learn how to recognize and cope with stress. Stress reduction techniques can help. Changing your activities to reduce daily stress can also be helpful.
The area where you had the eczema may easily get irritated again, so it needs special care. Continue to follow the tips provided here even after your skin has healed.
Is It Really Eczema
Its worth repeating that other skin conditionssuch as yeast and fungal infections, psoriasis, and herpesand certain ingredient allergies can sometimes look like eczema, so you want to make sure what you have is truly eczema.
Dr. Fusco recommends patch testing at a dermatologists office to identify anything that you could be allergic or hyper-sensitized to. If your physician finds that you do have an allergy to a specific ingredient, she can provide a comprehensive list of products that dont contain it.
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What Else Should I Know
If you live with eczema, tune in to what triggers it and how to manage it. For example, if you find that some types of makeup irritate your skin, ask a dermatologist to recommend brands that are less likely to do so.
Your self-esteem doesn’t have to suffer because you have eczema, and neither does your social life! Getting involved in your school and extracurricular activities can be a great way to get your mind off the itch.
Don’t forget to exercise. It’s a great way to blow off stress try walking, bike riding, swimming, or another sport that keeps your skin cool and dry while you work out.
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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Wear Gloves To Protect The Skin On Your Hands
Wear vinyl or plastic gloves for work that requires you to have your hands in water. Also, wear gloves when your hands are exposed to anything that can irritate your skin. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to soak up sweat from your hands. Take occasional breaks and remove your gloves. This will prevent a buildup of sweat inside your gloves.
Wear gloves when you go outside during the winter. Cold air and low humidity can dry your skin. Dryness can make your eczema worse. Wear clothes made of cotton or a cotton blend. Wool and some synthetic fabrics can irritate your skin.
A Final Word On Identifying The Cause Of Your Contact Dermatitis Rash
Its important to remember that the rash of contact dermatitis does not necessarily mean you have an allergy. Often, avoiding the product will clear away the rash. If youre not seeing relief and the rash continues to occur or worsens, check with your dermatologist, who can recommend skin allergy testing to find the exact trigger.
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Eczema Coping Tips Avoid Changes In Temperature
Abrupt temperature and humidity changes can sometimes irritate the skin for example, going in and out of air-conditioned buildings on hot days or heated buildings on cold days.Hard physical activity or exercise that makes you sweat heavily can also trigger the itch of eczema.Suggestions include:
- In winter, dont overheat your house. Dress warmly when going outdoors and remove the extra layers as soon as you return.
- In summer, dont over cool your house. Air conditioners can dry out the air and irritate your skin.
- Avoid hard physical activity in hot weather. For example, do your gardening first thing in the morning, or in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.
What Can Trigger A Flare
Researchers believe that anyone can develop psoriasis, even with no family history of the condition. Its thought that a combination of genetic and environmental triggers most likely need to be present for psoriasis to start.
Thats also likely an explanation for why psoriasis comes and goes, or gets better and worse over time.
Psoriasis flare-ups can be triggered by various factors, including:
- an infection in your body
Researchers hypothesize that it may be due to factors such as oxidative stress and vascular issues.
Try to limit your cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol as much as possible to prevent psoriasis from getting worse.
Talk with your doctor if you need help quitting. They can recommend smoking cessation programs and resources to help manage alcohol intake.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Eczema
There are steps you can take that may prevent eczema outbreaks:
- Establish a skin care routine, and follow your healthcare professionals recommendations for keeping your skin healthy.
- Wear gloves for jobs where you have to put your hands in water. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to absorb sweat, and wear gloves outside, especially during the winter months.
- Use mild soap for your bath or shower, and pat your skin dry instead of rubbing. Apply a moisturizing cream or ointment immediately after drying your skin to help seal in the moisture. Reapply cream or ointment two to three times a day.
- Take baths or showers with tepid rather than hot.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Water helps to keep your skin moist.
- Try to avoid getting too hot and sweaty.
- Wear loose clothes made of cotton and other natural materials. Wash new clothing before wearing. Avoid wool.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
- Learn to recognize stress in your life and how to manage it. Regular aerobic exercise, hobbies and stress-management techniques, such as meditation or yoga, might help.
- Limit your exposure to known irritants and allergens.
- Avoid scratching or rubbing itchy areas of skin.
Breast And Vaginal Eczema: The Fix
Choose a mild .5% topical cortisone and use a dab the size of a pea for the breast/nipple area, and a blueberry or marble for the vagina. Apply it no more than twice daily for up to one week. At that point, if youre not seeing a difference, set up a dermatologist appointment, says Dr. Garshick.
Regarding the genital region specifically, excess cortisone can also increase the risk of getting a yeast or fungal infection as a warm area that accumulates moisture, its already predisposed to these types of infection. If cortisone is causing issues, you can instead apply a soothing ointment, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, to provide a barrier that minimizes further irritation.
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Red Flag #: Bone Pain Or Fractures
The bones are considered a late-stage site of melanoma metastasestypically, it doesnt spread to the bones until its already spread to another area of the body first. Melanoma can cause pain in the bones where its spread, and some peoplethose with very little body fat covering their bonesmay be able to feel a lump or mass. Metastatic melanoma can also weaken the bones, making them fracture or break very easily. This is most common in the arms, legs, and spine. If you feel any sharp, sudden, or new pains that wont go away, talk to your doctor.
When To Seek Medical Advice
See a GP if you have symptoms of atopic eczema. They’ll usually be able to diagnose atopic eczema by looking at your skin and asking questions, such as:
- whether the rash is itchy and where it appears
- when the symptoms first began
- whether it comes and goes over time
- whether there’s a history of atopic eczema in your family
- whether you have any other conditions, such as allergies or asthma
- whether something in your diet or lifestyle may be contributing to your symptoms
Typically, to be diagnosed with atopic eczema you should have had an itchy skin condition in the last 12 months and 3 or more of the following:
- visibly irritated red skin in the creases of your skin such as the insides of your elbows or behind your knees at the time of examination by a health professional
- a history of skin irritation occurring in the same areas mentioned above
- generally dry skin in the last 12 months
- a history of asthma or hay fever children under 4 must have an immediate relative, such as a parent, brother or sister, who has 1 of these conditions
- the condition started before the age of 2
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Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Rosacea
Rosacea can cause red skin that looks like dermatitis. However, rosacea can also cause pimples, and the redness is typically found on your forehead, nose, chin and cheeks. Have your healthcare provider take a look at your skin to determine if your condition is dermatitis, rosacea, or something else.
What Causes Pompholyx
It’s not clear exactly what causes pompholyx, but it may be triggered or made worse by:
- a fungal skin infection this may be on the hands or at a distant site from the blisters and will need treating
- a reaction to something that has touched your skin such as certain metals , detergents, household chemicals, soap, shampoo, cosmetic products or perfume
- sweating pompholyx is more common in spring and summer, in warmer climates, and in people with excessive sweating
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How Common Is Eczema
Eczema affects up to 15 million Americans. Infants are prone to eczema and 10% to 20% will have it. However, nearly half outgrow the condition or have significant improvement as they get older.
Eczema affects males and females equally and is more common in people who have a personal or family history of asthma, environmental allergies and/or food allergies.
What Tests Are Done To Diagnose Dermatitis
Usually your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose dermatitis based on examining your skin. However, when there is doubt, they may perform the following tests:
- Blood tests to check for causes of the rash that might be unrelated to dermatitis.
- A skin biopsy to distinguish one type of dermatitis from another.
- An allergy skin test.
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Secondary Infectious In Eczema
People with eczema do sometimes develop infectious complications, some of which might be contagious. Eczema leaves the skin susceptible to developing infections in and around the affected areas. For example, people with eczema are somewhat more likely that people without eczema to develop an infection from Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
However, most of the time this isnt a concern. If your skin symptoms arent out of the ordinary, you can usually assume that no secondary infection is present.
If your skin is hot, pus-filled, and painful, that might be a sign that you have a secondary infection that needs medical attention. If you have worries about that, you should take precautions to use basic hygiene and keep anyone from touching the area. Youll need to see a health professional to evaluate what is going on.