Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic skin condition that causes dry, scaly patchy lesions on the skin and intense itching. Itching of the skin can cause red raised spots, thickened skin and open cuts on the skin surface.
Intense itching sensation makes sleep difficult; It results in fatigue, poor performance at school and work, difficulty performing activities of daily living and overall poor quality of life.
Genetic and environmental factors have been shown as the cause of eczema: Studies have shown that the majority of patients have inherited deficient or faulty production of a protein that strengthens the upper layer of the skin, so the skin is more permeable to allergens from the environment compared to other individuals.
Eczema can affect people of all ages and genders. Most cases of eczema start in childhood, but it is possible for the first time to develop eczema as an adult.
Eczema and Allergies
Although eczema is not an allergy, it is a condition that frequently progresses with allergic diseases. However, since the skin of individuals with eczema is somewhat more permeable compared to other individuals, they allow more allergen substance passages, so allergic events are more common in individuals with eczema.
What Causes Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)?
Causes of eczema can include genetic and environmental factors. Some patients may develop allergies as a result of genetic transmission; these allergies can also lay the groundwork for eczema.
Eczema in children and adults; It can also be seen due to allergy, stress and excessive care. It can be seen especially frequently in housewives, construction workers, hairdressers and cleaning workers.
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Symptoms
Although the symptoms of eczema vary from person to person, lesions in infants and young children are usually seen in the elbow, knee, scalp and face areas.
In older children and adults, lesions are more common in the hands, feet, inner arms and back of the knees.
Symptoms can include:
- Dry, scaly lesions
- Dry skin
- Thickening of the skin
- Water accumulation on the skin
- Redness and swelling of the skin
- Changes in skin color
- Sensitivity and sensitivity
- Injuries to the skin during scratching.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed?
The dermatologist can diagnose eczema based on the examination findings and skin symptoms.
In addition, some allergy tests such as the Skin Prick Test and blood test may be ordered to detect some common allergic conditions in people with eczema.
There is no cure for eczema; However, it is possible to protect the skin, relieve itching, prevent or control inflammation and infections with the treatments applied.
The goals of a comprehensive treatment are:
Prevention of Skin Damage
Moisturizers that prevent excessive fluid loss and dryness of the skin and moisturizers that will strengthen the skin barrier can be used in the treatment.
Reducing Fire Reaction
Individuals with eczema generally have dry, red and itchy areas on their skin. In order to prevent these inflammatory reactions, some superficial creams containing steroids are used.
When superficial creams are not strong enough, broader treatments such as the following can be used to achieve a shorter control of the inflammatory reaction, such as:
- Treatments containing corticosteroids that can be taken orally or intravenously
- Other medicines that can prevent the immune system from overworking
- Phototherapy: Treatment of skin lesions using ultraviolet lights
Antihistamines have long been used as the main treatment for itching. It helps patients to sleep more comfortably during the night.
Antibiotics can be used if the cracks on the skin surface are infected. Do not neglect to use your medication regularly, unless otherwise directed by your physician.
In addition to these, patients also benefit from lifestyle changes such as using products recommended for sensitive skin types, avoiding woolen and tight clothing that can increase itching, which you can consult with your physician.
Is Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Contagious?
Eczema is a chronic disease that begins in childhood and is a harbinger of diseases such as asthma and hay fever in advanced ages. Eczema disease is seen as an intense itch due to dry skin and is not an infectious disease.
Eczema on the Scalp
Eczema can be seen not only on the skin but also on the scalp. Eczema seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp is known. One of the most important causes of seborrheic dermatitis is the oiliness of the skin. It causes small crusting together with redness and itching due to oily.
Eczema in the scalp causes the skin to appear scaly and dandruff, which can be quite uncomfortable. Among the symptoms that occur in hair eczema, it can cause redness, itching, oily, tenderness and hair loss on the scalp.
Seborrheic dermatitis can be observed in the form of crusting on the nose, forehead, cheeks and eyebrows. Seborrheic dermatitis can be treated using special shampoos and lotions. Seborrheic dermatitis is not an infectious disease.
Eczema in Babies and Children
In order to treat eczema in children and babies, it is first necessary to find the cause. It is necessary to keep away food ingredients or chemicals (wet wipes, cream or similar products) that could touch the baby or child.
It is very important to keep the skin moist with eczema in children or babies. It is necessary to choose organic moisturizing products to be used and keep them away from chemical products. In addition, the clothes to be worn should be preferred to be 100% cotton products, wool products should be avoided.
What Kind of Drugs Are Used in Eczema Treatment?
The type of eczema should be determined before treatment. Treatment methods may vary depending on the history of the disease, the course of the disease and whether it has recurred before. For example; While seborrheic eczema can be treated with shampoos and special lotions, in atopic eczema, cortisone drugs or creams can be given to the patient first.