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What is Eczema?
Eczema is a very common itchy skin condition. It can occur anywhere on the body, and is prevalent in both children and adults. Symptoms of eczema include inflammation of the skin, manifesting in redness, scaling, swelling, blistering and cracking.
Although diagnosis of eczema is frequent and widespread, there are still doubts concerning the development of the condition and what types of eczema exist. Here you will find some basic information about the different types of eczema and how they can be managed and treated.
Different types of Eczema
As mentioned above, there are many different types of eczema, of which the development is influenced by a variety of factors. In general, eczema is divided into two types, namely Endogenous eczema and Exogenous eczema. Endogenous eczema is generally influenced by internal factors, while Exogenous eczema is influenced by external factors. See the table below for some examples of common eczema types:
- Atopic Dermatitis
- Dandruff Eczema ( Seborrheic Dermatitis)
- Contact Dermatitis (Irritant & Allergic)
- Contact Nettle Fever (contact urticaria)
Atopic dermatitis, usually referred to as Atopic eczema, is the most common form of eczema. It is a hereditary disease, and is often diagnosed in early childhood. It can be treated with therapeutic moisturisers, which will sooth pain and irritation as much as possible. Eczema usually first appears on the cheeks and extends to the arms and legs. It also commonly affects the joints, such as the knees, elbows, ankles and wrists. are highly exposed. Eczema occurs because of a deficiency of a protein called filaggrin. In fact, up to 40-50% of all patients with severe atopic eczema were found to have low levels of filaggrin in the body.
Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema transmitted via contact with substances that the skin is either irritated by or allergic to. This can be something as simple as perfume, soap or water. Under continuous exposure to a particular substance, the skin may develop an allergy resulting in contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis can be diagnosed by conducting an allergy test using the irritant substance.
Dandruff Eczema is one of the most frequently found types of eczema. It typically appears as red scaling on the back and upper chest. This scaling and inflammation can also occur around the face, nose and eyebrows. Seborrheic Dermatitis, more commonly known as Dandruff eczema, is caused by the overgrowth of Pityrosporum ovale, a fungus that naturally occurs in the body.
This eczema is caused by contact with different protein substances, such those found in various foods and natural rubber. Just like contact eczema, contact urticaria is triggered by exposure to allergens, in this case protein substances. Therefore, the best way to diagnose the condition is by using an allergy test.
How to treat eczema
All forms of eczema require relatively similar treatment. If you are suffering from a contact eczema and your skin is irritated by a particular allergen, the best thing you can do is to ensure you don’t make contact with the source irritant. This can often be difficult, especially if the source of infection is hard to avoid. However, it’s important to minimise contact as much as possible. In the case of atopic eczema, one should try to eliminate certain foods from your diet that may make the condition worse.
In addition to reducing exposure to the source of infection, we always recommend using some sort of ointment or cream to target the condition, regardless of which type of eczema you suffer from. We recommend using natural products, which are more nourishing and hydrating for your skin. Our most popular eczema cream is EmuaidMAX, which contains a high concentration of emu oil, which has been recognized for thousands of years around the world for its amazing skincare properties. If you are suffering from mild eczema, we recommend using a gentle and unscented moisturiser from Matas.
Living with Ezcema
In general, eczema is a long-term chronic illness, the symptoms of which will fluctuate over time. In many cases, there will be periods when you are not affected, immediately followed by periods of eczema flare up. Periods of eczema breakout can be made worse by stress, dehydration and poor diet.
It is said that approximately 60% of all children and adolescents with atopic dermatitis will outgrow it by early adulthood. However, there is an increased risk of developing other types of eczema during adult life. Although eczema can be a very irritating and troublesome condition, it is quite possible to have a happy life without eczema bothering you. For best results, we recommend daily use of gentle and natural moisturiser, which will reduce skin dryness and help to prevent eczema outbreaks.