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Eczema: Symptoms and Treatments
This week is National Eczema Week, which is dedicated to help spread awareness about the signs and symptoms of eczema. To help spread awareness, here are some facts about eczema, as well as the symptoms and treatments.
What is Eczema?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, affects millions of people in many different ways. Some people may experience random flare ups periodically without realizing that they have eczema. For others, eczema affects their lives daily.
Symptoms of Eczema
- Dry skin
- Redness on the skin
- Cracked, raw, or sensitive skin
Symptoms can vary from person to person and depend on the type of eczema someone experiences. Flare ups can cause symptoms for a short period of time, whereas some people may experience irritation on their skin every day.
Types of Eczema
There are many different types of eczema. However, most types are typically noticeable on the skin because of the redness, itching, or abnormal irritation.
- Atopic Dermatitis – This is the most common form of eczema that most people experience. Atopic dermatitis usually looks like a rash and causes itching.4
- Contact Dermatitis – This type of eczema is caused by certain irritants that trigger a reaction, such as a product coming in contact with the skin or allergies. The irritation and other symptoms usually subside shortly.
- Dyshidrotic Dermatitis – This form of eczema mainly affects the hands and feet. The skin may develop scaly patches, blisters, or cuts.5
- Nummular Dermatitis – This type of eczema typically affects the legs and is more common in the cold and dry winter months. Nummular dermatitis is also more common in men than it is women.
- Asteatotic Eczema – This kind of eczema is common in older adults, particularly those over the age of 60. Asteatotic eczema typically occurs when the skin becomes drier as people age.6
- Varicose Eczema – Varicose eczema is another type that is more common in older adults. As people age and become less active, their veins can weaken.6 This can lead to varicose veins, enlarged or swollen veins, and varicose eczema.7
Treatments for Eczema
There is no cure for eczema, but there are different treatments available to help alleviate the sensitivity and symptoms of eczema.
Some people may outgrow eczema as they get older, but for others it can be a lifelong condition. You can try home remedies for eczema, or you can talk to your doctor about medication.
Here are some home remedies to relieve eczema symptoms:
- Lukewarm baths/avoiding hot water
- Applying moisturizer to the skin every day, and twice a day if needed
- Wearing soft fabrics and avoiding itchy, harsh clothing material
- Using mild soap that won’t irritate the skin
- Avoiding scratching the skin
- Using a humidifier in dry, cold weather8
There are many medications available to help with eczema, and you can discuss the different options with your doctor as to what’s right for you. Here are some of the available options:
- Topical treatments – Topical treatments vary depending on the brand and ingredients, but they typically come in the form of creams or gels. Topical treatments soothe the skin and prevent itching, redness, and irritation. Some of these topical treatments may include steroids, such as hydrocortisone, to effectively reduce inflammation and irritation.
- Oral Medication -- Antihistamines, commonly known as Benadryl or allegra, can help with the allergy symptoms related to eczema such as itching and inflammation. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can both help with the burning and pain that come with eczema.9
Spread Awareness Today
Help spread awareness about eczema and its symptoms by learning more about the condition. If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, or have concerns about your skin, please talk to your doctor.
To learn more about Saber Healthcare and our services, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “Eczema.” Cleveland Clinic, clevelandclinic.org. October 28th, 2020. Accessed September 8th, 2021. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9998-eczema.
- “What Are The First Signs Of Eczema And What You Can Do About It?” Allergy and Asthma Center, theallergyasthmacenter.com. Accessed September 10th, 2021. https://theallergyasthmacenter.com/blog/what-are-the-first-signs-of-eczema-and-what-you-can-do-about-it-.
- “Atopic dermatitis (eczema).” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Mayo Clinic. June 12th, 2020. Accessed September 8th, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atopic-dermatitis-eczema/symptoms-causes/syc-20353273.
- Sullivan, Debra. “Eczema: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.” Healthline Media, healthline.com. March 7th, 2019. Accessed September 9th, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/eczema#types.
- Jaliman, Debra. “Types of Eczema.” WebMD, webmd.com. June 22nd, 2021. Accessed September 9th, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/types-of-eczema.
- Crichton-Stuart, Cathleen. “What are the different types of eczema?” Healthline Media, Medical News Today. January 5th, 2020. Accessed September 9th, 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322435.
- “Varicose Veins.” The Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Medicine. Accessed September 10th, 2021. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/varicose-veins#:~:text=Varicose%20veins%20are%20enlarged%2C%20twisted,lead%20to%20more%20serious%20problems.
- McIntosh, James. “What to know about eczema.” Healthline Media, Medical News Today. July 21st, 2021. Accessed September 8th, 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/14417.
- “Eczema Treatments Overview.” National Eczema Association, nationaleczema.org. Accessed September 8th, 2021. https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/.