One of the main skin diseases that we see that people are suffering these days is dermatitis or eczema as it is popularly known as. With the changing lifestyle and with changing surroundings, one is facing a lot of trouble. From the very basic shield of protection, which is the skin, one is facing a lot of trouble like the above mentioned skin disease. The word eczema comes from a Greek word ‘ekzema’ which in literal sense mean and ‘eruption’. This term is usually used when the skin conditions are known as atopic eczema. Many a times the above mentioned two words are used in the same sense but according to many other medical and technical dictionaries though they mean the similar skin problem, the word dermatitis is used when this skin condition is acute whereas the word eczema is used when the skin condition is chronic.
What is this disease?
We all know that eczema is a condition when the skin faces a lot of damage. It is when a person notices an inflammation of skin and itchy and red patches appears. These patches may or may not be painful, crusting and vesicular in nature and may also be characterized by erythematous appearance and weeping. These skin conditions are very persistent. In these conditions the skin becomes very itchy and rashes appear and it is recurring in spite of mild treatment. The skin becomes dry beyond the normal level. Usually steroid creams and moisturizers are used when the conditions are not all that bad but in case these fail to work one may also try out creams which have calcineurin inhibitors.
Like every other disease even this disease is classified into four categories.
- Seborrhoeic- it is known as cradle caps in infants. This is usually a form of eczema which is related to dandruff and terms related to it. It usually forms a greasy layer on the scalp and the skin of the scalp begins to peel off. This may affect the scalp and the eyebrows and at times may also affect face and trunk. This can usually be harmless unless and until it is an extreme case of cradle cap and the cause of it could simply be lack of biotin.
- Xerotic eczema- it usually happens during the winter season when due to the weather condition the skin becomes so dry that it reaches a stage when it can be called eczema. Trunks and skin of the limbs gets affected the most. The older population is the age bracket which faces this problem the most and it becomes like a dry and cracked river bed.
- Contact dermatitis- this may be a result of allergy or irritation. This is avoidable and is due to working in a condition where the skin comes in contact with something like the detergent and that is what causes the irritation in skin.
- Atopic eczema- this is considered to be hereditary and usually can be found in the families where the members suffer from asthma. The skin of the body faces rashes and itchiness which spreads. This is the most common form of this skin disease.