By Dr. Nitin Jain, Dermatology
Eczema (also called atopic Dermatitis in infants) is a group of skin disorders that cause irritation and inflammation of the skin tissues. The condition is common among children but adults are affected too. Every year, more than 10 million children in India are affected by Eczema. It may be a chronic disorder but most children get cured after the age of 12.
Types of Eczema-
- Contact Dermatitis is a type of skin rash caused by contact with certain substances. The reaction may be allergic or irritant.
- Nummular Dermatitis causes big round red sores on the skin of the hands and back.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis causes a yellowish rash and peeling of skin of the scalp and face.
- Stasis Dermatitis is rashes and swelling caused by an accumulation of fluid in the legs.
- Dermatitis Herpetiformis causes blisters and sores along with extremely itchy skin.
- Xerotic Eczema occurs in elderly people and causes very dry and cracked skin.
- Venous Eczema develops as a complication of circulation problems and causes redness and itching of the skin of the legs.
Triggers of Eczema-
Even though it is a chronic condition, the symptoms are not always extreme. They can be triggered by a number of factors, such as:
- Allergens like nickel, pollen, dust, dandruff and animal fur cause delayed, but severe allergic reactions, especially in children with dermatitis.
- Irritants cause itching and rashes immediately after contact. Common examples are washing powder, soaps, chlorine compounds and certain floral extracts.
- Foods which trigger eczema may vary widely but the most common ones are dairy products, wheat products, eggs and dry fruits.
- Changes in the weather can trigger skin condition. Xerotic eczema can be triggered in the winter season due to the dry weather.
- Extreme humidity and perspiration can also cause skin irritation.
- Stress can aggravate skin diseases due to hormonal imbalances in the body.