Eczema or dermatitis is a common skin condition, characterised by dryness/ scaling, itching, inflammation and at times oozing. Eczema maybe acute wherein inflammation, redness and irritation of skin along with oozing occurs, sub acute wherein the oozing maybe minimal, and chronic which is long lasting and although there may not be any oozing but there is usually intense itching and thickening of the skin.
Eczema maybe Endogenous which means you are genetically predisposed to it (atopic dermatitis, dyshidrotic dermatitis) OR exogenous due irritants, allergens etc.
Causes of eczema
There can be certain causes of eczema. Some of them are as mentioned below:
1.Eczema is genetic in nature which means it is spread through genes and carried over from generation to generation. If the parents suffer from asthma or any other allergic disease, the possibility of occurrence of eczema increases substantially.
2.Some environmental factors may trigger the outbreak of eczema such as exposure to toxic substances. This is called irritant contact dermatitis.
- Some persons may have an allergy towards certain substances which results in the occurrence of eczema. This condition of skin infection is called allergic contact dermatitis.
- Seborrheic dermatitis is another type of eczema which occurs due to an imbalance in oil glands and is generally seen near oil glands like nose, around the ears, chest, underarms and / or genitals.
What is the best Eczema treatment?
Our skin has a “brick and mortar” structure with the skin cells being the bricks and the mortar / cement being the lipids which hold them together. Commonly genetically predisposed individuals have faulty cement and hence a weak “wall” – which needs to mended by regular moisturization and emollients. The skin barrier is compromised in eczema and this needs to be corrected by good barrier repair creams / moisturizers recommended by your dermatologist. For moderate to severe eczema, topical medications and at times oral medications are required and for severe eczema, a mix of topical and oral medication is usually necessary for optimal outcomes. Good cleansers and change of certain habits recommended by your dermatologist and essential for optimal outcomes.