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All about eczema types of eczema symptoms of eczema causes of eczema effects of eczema diagnosis of eczema treatments for eczema prevention of eczema treatment of infant or baby eczema atopic eczema treatment dyshidrotic eczema nummular eczema hand eczema (hand dermatitis) varicose eczema seborrhoeic eczema

What're the effects of eczema?

In eczema, the main problems occur in the epidermis where the keratinocytes become less tightly held together. As a result, they become vulnerable to external factors such as soap, water and more aggressive solvents such as washing up liquid, or solvents used as part of work or hobbies. These solvents dissolve some of the grease and protein that contribute to the

natural barrier of the skin. Once this process has begun, the skin may become inflamed as a reaction to minor irritation such as rubbing or scratching. This, in turn, makes the eczema worse and a cycle of irritation, inflammation and deterioration of eczema becomes established.

As part of this cycle, the skin becomes less effective as a barrier. It is less effective at preventing damage from solvents and abrasive materials acting from the outside, and it is also more likely to lose body moisture from within. In a small patch of eczema, this can mean just a few vesicles (very small bubbles in the skin) bursting and leaking water. As the eczema gets worse, the fluid may come from the dermis and include blood from broken capillaries. When severe eczema covers a large percentage of the body surface, it is possible to lose substantial amounts of body fluid, blood and protein through the skin. In addition to these materials, the body can lose heat from the skin, which can become important in people who are physically infirm.

The barrier function of the skin is reduced further when scratching occurs and breaks are gouged in the skin by fingernails. As with solvents, this fuels the eczema and is termed the 'itch–scratch cycle'. When skin becomes broken and there is a mix of blood, fluid and protein on the surface, there is a high chance of infection. This infection is usually bacterial and will add to the symptoms and severity of the eczema.

More information on eczema

What is eczema? - Eczema is a heterogeneous group of different non-infectious skin diseases. Eczema occurs in both children and adults, but usually appears during infancy.
What types of eczema are there? - There are various types of eczema, including atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis), contact dermatitis, varicose eczema, discoid eczema, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis.
What are the symptoms of eczema? - Symptoms of eczema are itching and redness, and may make the skin dry and flaky. Eczema makes the skin more sensitive.
What causes eczema? - The most common cause of eczema is a general allergic over-sensitivity. Other types of eczema arise as a result of causes within the body.
How does eczema affect people? - In eczema, the main problems occur in the epidermis where the keratinocytes become less tightly held together.
How is eczema diagnosed? - Eczema is usually diagnosed through a physical examination. Further tests may include skin biopsy or patch tests.
What are the treatments for eczema? - Avoidance of the aetiological factors is one important therapeutical approach. Symptomatic treatment includes topical and systemic treatment regimens.
How can eczema be prevented? - Eczema flare-ups can be prevented by avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures, dry air, harsh soaps and bubble baths.
How to deal with infant or baby eczema? - For mild to moderate baby eczema, the application of moisturizer on a regular basis can be very helpful. Avoid as many eczema triggers as possible.
What is atopic eczema and its treatment? - Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the commonest form of eczema and is closely linked with asthma and hayfever.
What is dyshidrotic eczema? - Dyshidrotic eczema is a form of eczema often seen on the hands and feet where tiny blisters of serum form just below the skin's surface.
What is nummular eczema? - Nummular eczema is a chronic eczema characterised by coin-shaped, sharply demarcated lesions. Nummular eczema is more common in males.
What is hand eczema (hand dermatitis)? - Hand eczema, also called hand dermatitis, is a skin condition in which the hands develop a rash and become red, dry, cracked, and inflamed.
What is varicose eczema? - Varicose eczema is due to increased pressure within the veins in the leg. Varicose eczema affects the lower legs people in their middle to late years.
What's seborrhoeic eczema? - Seborrhoeic eczema is a common skin disease affecting any sebum-(natural oil) producing area of the skin. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005