What is Eczema?
Definition of Eczema: A chronic, itchy inflammation of the skin that may coincide with allergic responses and asthma. Eczema occurs most often and more severely among young children. More than 90 percent of people with eczema have it before age 5, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Below is a brief overview of the causes, symptoms and treatments, plus links to more information.
What Causes Eczema? The cause behind eczema is unknown, but stress, illness, hot temperatures and irritants can make it worse. Researchers think eczema may be caused by a combination of genetic factors and environmental conditions.
Is Eczema Contagious? No.
Medical Term: Atopic dermatitis.
Signs & Symptoms: Eczema often appears in children as a bumpy, itchy rash on the hands, feet, neck, back of the knees and inside of the elbows. In adults, the rash can cover more of the body and the face. In time. the rash can crust over and even develop into thick, scaly patches.
Treatment & Remedies: At home try wearing cotton clothing, applying a cool wet compress and moisturizing lotions. Doctors may prescribe creams with cortisone, oral and injected corticosteroids, antibiotics to fight skin infections, and topical immunomodulators to reduce allergic responses. Oral antihistamines and light therapy can also reduce symptoms.
- Eczema, asthma and hay fever tend to occur together in families, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Up to 20 percent of infants and 3 percent of adults have eczema symptoms, according to the NIH.
- Roughly half of children with eczema continue to have symptoms as an adult.
Sources and More Information:
- Eczema: Details from MyHealthNewsDaily
- Related Information from the Mayo Clinic
- Related Information from the National Institutes of Health
- Related Information from the American Academy of Dermatology
This information is not meant to provide specific medical advice. It is for educational purposes only. We recommend you consult a qualified health care professional for diagnoses and treatment advice, and call 9-1-1 in emergencies.
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