Eczema is a common name for different types of skin inflammation and accounts for more than 20% of all types of skin problems.
Common symptoms of eczema are itching, rashes, inflamed red skin area, blisters.
Eczema usually progresses, and thus have stages. It can also have different triggers – exogenous and endogenous.
Exogenous eczema is caused by external factors and is also known as contact eczema.
Endogenous eczema is triggered by genetic predispositions and the most common is atopic eczema, better known as neurodermatitis.
The disease is not as a result of infection and not communicable as some people believed, it only affects the upper layer of your skin – the epidermis, and sometimes, the dermis can be affected.
Ringworm is often mistaken for Eczema, therefore, you must reach out to a dermatologist.
What are the different types of Eczema
There are different types of eczema. There are about three types but it can be categorized based on different parameters – mode of contact, skin area, symptoms, stages, etc.
There are also some categories of eczema that affect specific areas of the skin such as the face, hands, groin, etc.
Types of Eczema
- Atopic dermatitis or Neurodermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
- Diaper eczema
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Nummular or discoid eczema
- Stasis dermatitis
- Desiccation or dehydration Eczema
- Intertriginous eczema
Atopic eczema is also known as neurodermatitis and is endogenous eczema, that is, it is hereditary, thus, can be transferred from parent to child.
Atopic eczema or neurodermatitis is the most common type of eczema and can be very serious and difficult to control.
In the acute stage of the disease, the skin can be dry and have cracks or scales which causes severe itching and heavy scratching.
The disease progresses in stages and it can easily get worse by allergies, stress, and other environmental influences.
More importantly, a weak immune system can worsen atopic eczema or dermatitis.
Contact eczema or dermatitis occurs as a result of an inflammation of the skin.
It can occur either as allergic eczema or as irritant eczema. Allergic contact eczema is caused by substances that trigger inflammation of the skin when they are in contact with your skin.
Contact dermatitis is often irritant, i.e. the skin has been affected by irritants.
For example, metals such as nickel or certain substances in cosmetics, detergent, dyes, and other domestic and industrial chemicals.
Toxic contact eczema
Toxic eczema is similar to allergic contact eczema but is caused by a substance that is toxic to humans.
Diaper dermatitis is a special form of irritant toxic contact eczema.
It develops when urine and/or feces under the diaper (in the absence of air) act on the skin of babies or incontinent patients who regularly wear diapers for a long period.
This causes the skin to redden, become inflamed, and the tissue to soften.
Seborrheic eczema or dermatitis don’t have specific causes and often affect the face, scalp, and trunk, especially the scalp.
These areas are rich in sebum production, hence, increased sebum production is often responsible for the development of the yellowish, scaly eczema.
Also, microorganisms on the skin, genetic make-up, and hormones largely contribute to its occurrence, not an allergy.
It is one of the most common types of eczema and be severe.
Seborrhoeic eczema typically occurs in babies and children and appears as yellowish-brown oily scales, especially on the baby’s scalp.
If it affects the hair scalp of adults, you can shampoo it daily and rinse twice a day to improve the symptoms and remove the scales.
For children, I suggest you consult your doctor immediately if you notice a strange thing on any part of your baby.
Dyshidrotic eczema is characterized by itching and blisters filled with water on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
It can be triggered by an allergic disposition, prolonged and excessive sweating, fungal infections, stress, being in water in most times, and medications.
What dermatologists recommend most for this type of eczema or others is a corticosteroid based cream.
Its usage, however, depends on the age and affected area of the skin.
This type of eczema can be a result of a reaction to medications, atopic, or stasis eczema or damage to the skin through insect bites or hard rub on the skin.
Since nummular eczema shares the same symptoms with ringworm, it can be mistaken for the latter.
Keeping your skin clean, hydrated, and away from eczema triggers, using creams that contain cortisone, and taking antihistamines can help to control this problem.
Stasis dermatitis usually occurs in people who have Varicose veins, obesity, heart and kidney failure, HBP, blood clot, past surgeries, and pregnant.
It is often characterized by thickened reddish skin, commonly at the ankles or shins.
In this type of eczema, the blood accumulates in the lower legs and feet.
It can also worsen contact allergies, for example, a medication that is used to treat congestion can lead to allergic contact eczema.
Compresses help to reduce congestion and this usually also improves stasis dermatitis.
If this is not enough, ointments containing cortisone can be used for a short time.
This form of eczema is also called dehydration eczema and belongs to chronic eczema.
Desiccation eczema mainly affects elderly people and their legs and is caused by dry skin and low sebum production
It is characterized by dry, scaly, itchy plaques on the skin which can cause tears to the skin.
This type of Eczema worsens in winter or when you wash frequently but can be well managed with general skincare and maintenance.
For treatment, you should avoid triggering factors, especially soaps, and frequent contact with water.
Refatting skin creams or oils and medicinal oil baths can usually alleviate the symptoms quickly.
However, if the itching is severe and persists, antihistamines should also be taken to aid recovery.
Intertriginous eczema occurs at skin folds such as bicep, tricep, subscapular and suprailiac skinfold.
The affected area becomes reddened and inflamed, and often itch and burn
In many cases, intertriginous eczema is caused by contraction and release of the skin.
It also occurs in the spaces between the toes and fingers, under the armpits, under the breast, and between the buttocks.
Fat people often suffer from this type of eczema in their skin folds, caused by overhanging skin.
Also, intertriginous eczema can be caused by bacteria or fungi.
These should then be treated with the appropriate medication, more so, careful skincare is also important.
Rosacea is a form of eczema that occurs mainly in the middle of the face as red areas.
Especially the cheeks, the nose, and the skin between the eyebrows are commonly affected.
This form of Eczema develops most often, between the age of 30-40 years and the skin condition can worsen if the affected person takes much sugary foods and alcohol.