What Are The Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis
The area of the body affected by atopic dermatitis may change with age. In infants and young children, it usually affects the face, outside of the elbows, and on the knees. In older children and adults, it tends to be on the hands and feet, the arms, on the back of the knees, and the folds of the elbows.
Symptoms are slightly different for each person. Common symptoms include:
- Dry, scaly patches on the skin
- Small bumps that open and weep when scratched
- Redness and swelling of the skin
- A thickening of the skin
- Scratch marks on the skin
Too much rubbing and scratching can tear the skin and lead to infection.
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis may look like other skin conditions. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
When To See A Doctor
A person can often manage their eczema at home by using over-the-counter moisturizers and avoiding triggers. However, a person may need to see a doctor if complications occur.
Bacterial, viral, and fungal skin infections are common complications of eczema. This is because the skin of people with eczema that fight infections.
Bacterial infections can make the symptoms of eczema worse.
People with eczema may be more prone to fungal infections, such as yeast infections. They are also more likely to get viral skin infections, such as eczema herpeticum, which can occur if they come into contact with the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores.
People with eczema should look out for the following signs of skin infection:
- eczema suddenly becoming worse
- areas of the skin weeping
- a raised temperature
- flu-like symptoms
Once they have identified it, doctors can treat all forms of infection. They may prescribe antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral medication. In rare instances of viral infection, a person may need to go to the hospital.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed
Theres no specific test that can be used to diagnose eczema. Often, a doctor can diagnose the condition by talking with you about your symptoms and examining your skin. Sometimes, a patch test might be done to help find eczema triggers.
A patch test can pinpoint certain allergens that trigger symptoms, like skin allergies associated with contact dermatitis
During a patch test, an allergen is applied to a patch thats placed on the skin. Your skin will become inflamed and irritated if the allergen is a trigger for you.
Also Check: Pictures Of Eczema On Hands And Feet
Favorite Annual Meetings For Eczema Patients
The NEAs annual expo provides a vacation retreat for people and families affected by eczema. The four-day event includes activities educational seminars camps for infants, children, and teens and hotel accommodations that are as free of potential allergens as possible. The next Eczema Expo is June 25 through 28, 2020, in Orlando, Florida. The organization offers a limited amount of needs-based scholarships to help people attend.
What Is The Outlook For Eczema
Theres no cure for eczema, but symptoms can be effectively managed with the right treatments. These may include a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. In some cases, eczema can cause additional health complications.
Skin infections, like are brought on by constant itching. When scratching breaks the skin, bacteria and viruses can enter.
Neurodermatitis is also caused by frequent itching. It leaves skin thickened, red, raw, and darker in color. This is not a dangerous condition but may result in permanent discoloration and thickening of skin even when eczema is not active. Scratching can also cause scarring.
Many people with eczema report feeling embarrassed and self-conscious about their skin. Receiving proper treatment and getting stress under control can help calm symptoms. Support groups can also help people cope.
Vigorous exercise can be difficult for people with eczema because sweating can bring on a bout of itching. Dress in layers so you can cool down while exercising. You may also want to avoid intense physical activity during an eczema flare-up.
Read Also: What Is Atopic Dermatitis Eczema
Biologic Treatments For Eczema
If you have moderate or severe eczema that isn’t controlled by over-the-counter or prescription topical treatments, your doctor may suggest you try a biologic treatment. According to Verywell Health, biologics are prescription medications that introduce antibodies into your system. These antibodies inhibit the production of interleukins, proteins that play a crucial role in the body’s inflammatory response. By blocking these immune system proteins, biologic treatments reduce the amount of inflammation in the body. This can help reduce eczema flare-ups and the severity of eczema symptoms.
Currently, the only FDA-approved biologic treatment for eczema is a medication called Dupixent. According to an article published in the medical journal Experimental Dermatology, two other biologic medications are currently being tested for eczema treatment. These medications both block interleukin production, just like Dupixent. However, they target different kinds of interleukins. Other biologic treatments in development target molecules involved in the inflammatory response instead of proteins. By inhibiting the production of these molecules, the biologics reduce inflammatory responses, reducing eczema flare ups.
Biologics are a great alternative to steroid treatments in severe cases of eczema, as long-term steroid treatment, either topical or oral, can have several negative side effects including elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, thinner skin, eye problems, and general fatigue .
Weeping Eczema: Causes Symptoms And Treatments
There are several subtypes of eczema , each categorized by its symptoms. Eczema with sores that weep may be known as weepy or wet eczema, but those are not types of eczema. Rather, weeping patches are one of the more severe symptoms of eczema. Eczema that weeps involves blisters that ooze or sores that leak clear fluid or pus. These weeping wounds may be a sign of extreme inflammation or that a persons eczema has become infected. .
It can be difficult to deal with infected, oozing, scaly patches of skin, especially on top of itchiness and dryness. Luckily, there are several ways you can manage eczema that weeps both at home and with your health care provider.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Eczema Around Mouth
Types Of Skin Conditions That Cause Eczema
There are at least 11 distinct types of skin conditions that produce eczema. In order to develop a rational treatment plan, it is important to distinguish them. This is often not easy.
Eczema Coping Tips Beauty Products
Suggestions for using beauty products include:
- Remember that even hypoallergenic cosmetics can irritate your skin. Whenever possible, keep your face free of make-up.
- Avoid perfumes, fragranced skin lotions and strongly scented shampoos.
- When using a new cosmetic, try testing it first on a small, inconspicuous area of skin such as your forearm. If you experience a reaction, dont use the product again.
Recommended Reading: How To Use Manuka Honey For Eczema
Emollients For Treating Eczema
Emollient creams add moisture to the skin. Apply moisturisers each day to clean, dry skin. It is especially important to moisturise after showering and bathing, and when living or working in an air-conditioned or heated environment. You may need to try several different brands until you find the emollient that works best for you. Ask your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist for advice.
What Is Neurodermatitis
Neurodermatitis is a skin disease depicted by scaling and chronic itching. It resembles atopic dermatitis in its symptoms which include scaling and swelling of the skin. Itchy skin caused by neurodermatitis worsens when scratched. It is more prevalent in females as compared to males.What Causes Neurodermatitis?
The causes of neurodermatitis are unknownâhowever, other types of eczema may result in neurodermatitis. Stress, age, sex, underlying skin conditions, and anxiety disorders can also trigger skin infections.Symptoms of Neurodermatitis
The main symptoms of neurodermatitis
- Thick and scaly patches on your legs, arms, scalp, feet, genitals, back of your hands, and at the end of your neck
- Itchiness on the patches, especially when you’re asleep or relaxed
- Bleeding and infection when the patches are scratched
- Swelling, reddening, or darkening
Don’t Miss: What Causes Eczema Flare Ups On Arms
What Else You Can Do
Use an emollient cream whenever your child washes. This will keep his skin soft, prevent it from drying out, and damp down the itchiness.
Underplay the condition in front of your child. Your anxiety can make the condition worse.
Keep your childs fingernails short so that scratching doesnt cause the skin to break and give rise to infection.
Make sure all your childs clothes, and anything that comes next to his skin, are rinsed thoroughly to remove all traces of powders and conditioners.
If eczema is found to be made worse by pet fur, you may need to consider giving your family pet away.
Use an aqueous cream from your chemist as a soap substitute.
Use a bath emollient dissolved in bath water to put a protective layer over your childs skin.
Think about installing a domestic water softener.
Dress your child in fine cotton clothes next to his skin at all times
Dont eliminate any foods from your childs diet without your doctors supervision.
Remove as many irritants from your childs environment as possible. For example, feather and down pillows can be a source of irritation.
Prevention Of Toddler Eczema
If your child is genetically predisposed to eczema, theres not a lot you can do to prevent it from occurring. But you can try to minimize flare-ups when you can with these actions:
- Get to know your childs triggerswhether its cigarette smoke or scented detergentand avoid them when possible.
- Moisturize your childs skin regularly. One study conducted on babies found that those who were moisturized daily were less likely to develop eczema than those whose skin was not moisturized.
- Keep your childs fingernails short to reduce injury if they scratch their skin.
- Dress your child in soft, nonirritating clothing.
- Keep your child coolheat and sweat can cause eczema to flare.
- Get a dog. Research shows that children who have a dog in their household before they turn 1 have a lower risk of developing eczema by age 4 than those living in households without a dog.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Eczema Hurt So Much
Research And Statistics: Who Has Eczema How Many People Have Eczema
Eczema can occur at any age, but it typically begins in infancy and early childhood.
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
National survey data suggest the one-year prevalence of atopic dermatitis among American adults was 10.2 percent in 2010 and 7.2 percent in 2012. But the surveys used different questions: The former referred to “dermatitis, eczema, or any other red, inflamed skin rash” and the latter to “eczema or skin allergy.”
How Is Eczema Diagnosed What Tests Are Done
Your healthcare provider will take a close look at your skin. They will look for classic signs of eczema such as a redness and dryness. They will ask about the symptoms youre experiencing.
Usually your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose eczema based on examining your skin. However, when there is doubt, they may perform the following tests:
- An allergy skin test.
- 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.
Don’t Miss: What To Do When You Have Eczema On Your Face
How To Treat Eczema
Eczema is a disease that often occurs seasonally, disappearing and reappearing after a while. It has no known cure up to date, but certain medications can reduce itchiness, swelling, and allergic reactions. There are two forms of treatment, home-remedy, and medical methods. Home-remedy is often used for patients with mild symptoms. However, it is highly recommended that you reach out to your physician when you see the symptoms to prevent the cycle.
The medical method is used for more severe cases. These forms of treatment are used to eradicate rashes and allergies associated with the disease. Common eczema treatments are creams, ointments, lotions, over-the-counter drugs, cold compresses, and oral medication such as steroids. The standard methods are
- Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine or Benadryl to control allergies and itchiness on the skin
- Ointments and creams such as the corticosteroid creams to reduce itching
- Prednisone, a steroid administered by mouth to prevent swelling and itching for severe cases
- For reddish and darkened skin, calcineurin inhibitors can minimize the immune system’s reaction to causative agents
- For skin infection, antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungal drugs can be administered, especially for bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, respectively
- For excessive rashes, one can be exposed to ultraviolet light through light therapy. Light therapy heals these rashes
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.
Don’t Miss: Eczema Flare Up All Over Body
How Can Parents Help
Help prevent or treat eczema by keeping your child’s skin from getting dry or itchy and avoiding triggers that cause flare-ups. Try these suggestions:
- Kids should take short baths or showers in warm water. Use mild unscented soaps or non-soap cleansers and pat the skin dry before putting on cream or ointment. Teens should use unscented makeup and oil-free facial moisturizers.
- Ask your doctor if it’s OK to use oatmeal soaking products in the bath to help control itching.
- Kids should wear soft clothes that “breathe,” such as those made from cotton. Wool or polyester may be too harsh or irritating.
- Keep your child’s fingernails short to prevent skin damage from scratching. Try having your child wear comfortable, light gloves to bed if scratching at night is a problem.
- Kids should avoid becoming overheated, which can lead to flare-ups.
- Kids should drink plenty of water, which adds moisture to the skin.
- Get rid of known allergens in your household and help your child avoid others, like pollen, mold, and tobacco smoke.
- Stress can make eczema worse. Help your child find ways to deal with stress .
Who Typically Gets Eczema
Since there is a genetic component to eczema, people who have a family history of eczema are more likely to develop the condition, according to MedlinePlus. A family history of other allergies like hay fever and asthma are also associated with eczema. People who already have hay fever, asthma, or other severe allergies are also at high risk for developing eczema, even though eczema itself is not a true allergic reaction. About 60% of people who have eczema also have hay fever, asthma, or both conditions. Though the connection between food allergies and eczema hasn’t been completely explained yet, about 30% of people with eczema also have food allergies.
Eczema typically appears for the first time in infancy and lasts through childhood. Many children will outgrow eczema by the time they reach their teen years. However, some people have eczema through adulthood. Eczema can also develop in adulthood. According to the Cleveland Clinic, research has found that women and Black people are more likely to get eczema than people in other demographics, though the reasons for this aren’t yet clear.
Lifestyle factors can also put you at higher risk for developing eczema, per Verywell Health. People who work with chemicals are more likely to develop eczema, as are people who don’t wear protective gear like gloves when they clean, garden, or paint.
Read Also: Best Treatment For Weeping Eczema
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.
Signs And Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis
Incessant pruritus is the only symptom of AD. The disease typically has an intermittent course with flares and remissions occurring, often for unexplained reasons.
Primary physical findings include the following:
The eczematous changes and its morphology are seen in different locations, depending on the age of the patient .
The following is a constellation of symptoms and features commonly seen in AD:
Staphylococcus aureus superinfection
Personal history of asthma or hay fever or a history of atopic diseases in a first-degree relative
See Clinical Presentation for more detail.
Read Also: Where To Buy Neosporin Eczema Essentials