What is Eczema: Definition, Causes and Prevention

Posted: December 9, 2018 at 9:44 pm

This post was added by Alex Diaz-Granados

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes dry skin and red, itchy patches. In some cases, the patches may ooze, harden or turn scaly.1 This conditions name originated from the Greek word ekzein, which means to boil out. However, the term eczema is also used to describe any kind of rash-like skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis, the most common of these conditions.2

The exact cause of eczema is still not known, although it is believed to occur due to a combination of factors. One major factor is your genetics, so there is a possibility that you inherited it from one or both of your parents.

Environmental factors, such as allergens, irritants, chemicals, microbes, hot or cold temperatures, food and stress, are also known to trigger eczema symptoms. Identifying and avoiding these triggers can help you prevent flare-ups and manage your condition effectively, as well as help prevent serious complications.3

You should be aware that the symptoms of eczema are different for everyone. This skin disorder may develop in any part of your body, but it is typically found on the flexors (bends of your arms and back of your knees). Your symptoms may range from mild to severe, and can have a significant impact on your quality of life.4

Sometimes, eczema only causes mild to moderate itching, but there are times when the itching becomes severe, leading to extremely inflamed skin.5 When you scratch an area of your skin, the itching tends to get worse. At times, you may end up scratching until it bleeds. This is the infamous itch-scratch cycle, which will make your eczema worse.6 Doing this can cause infection, which is why you should avoid scratching the affected area no matter how itchy it gets.

A diagnosis of eczema should be taken seriously, as it can lead to severe complications if left untreated. For instance, it may cause an infection when the skin breaks, especially if bacteria, viruses or fungi penetrate into the deeper layer of your skin.7

One example of this is eczema herpeticum, a potentially fatal viral infection of the skin thats caused by herpes simplex virus or other related viruses.8 Eye-related complications are also possible, and can even cause permanent damage to your vision.9 The good news is that complications are avoidable, as long as you are proactive in treating and managing your condition.

Always remember that controlling environmental factors and avoiding your triggers are the key to minimizing flare-ups and significantly reducing your risk of complications.

Eczema: Introduction

Eczema Types

Read more:
What is Eczema: Definition, Causes and Prevention

Related Post
This entry was posted in Eczema. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.