Having itchy and sore skin anywhere on the body may be extremely unpleasant experience, although not life-threatening. People often use term “eczema” to tell about any skin condition. But in reality not all inflammatory processes occurred in your outer layer are eczematous.
The second name for eczema is atopic dermatitis. It’s a chronic disorder that comes in flare-ups, followed by “calm”, symptomless periods. Atopic dermatitis begins frequently in the childhood, before the age of five. But it’s completely possible that it appears in adult people, who haven’t had any rashes earlier.
Many of us are afraid to catch eczema, when touching anybody with this condition. Don’t worry about this, atopic dermatitis doesn’t spread from person to person. Scientists claim that this is inherited condition, related to changes in genes, responsible for skin protection. Eczema is often accompanied by asthma and hay fever.
Certain irritants switch on immune response, leading to flare-ups. Each person with dermatitis has his or her own triggers, like stress, pollen, soaps, cold weather, foods. Women sometimes experience eczematous symptoms several days before periods.
Actually atopic dermatitis is a very common issue, which affects more than 30 million American people.
It’s worth knowing that eczema looks different for everyone. Symptoms may vary widely from one individual to another. The most common of them are:
#1. Extremely dry skin
#2. Non-stop unbearable itching that worsens, when you scratch affected area
#3. Red or brown spots developed on the neck, chest, hands, feet, in the folds of the elbows and knees
#4. Small fluid-filled bumps
#5. Scaly rough patches
#6. Puffy and itchy eyelids
#7. Sensitive and swollen skin
There is no lab tests that can affirm diagnosis of atopic dermatitis. Healthcare specialists usually diagnose it during examination and reviewing medical history of the patient.
To relieve itching and repair damaged skin, your doctor may recommend topical medications like corticosteroid creams and calcineurin inhibitors (tacrolimus etc.). If bacterial infection accompanies eczema, you should apply antibiotic directly on the skin or take them per os.
In severe cases, oral anti-inflammatory medicines and light therapy may be the perfect option.
Nowadays scientists have developed newer injectable monoclonal antibody called dupilumab, which was found to be effective in people, who don’t feel better after any other treatments. The only flaw is that it is very expensive.