Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Eczema is a chronic skin disorder that is usually found in areas such as the forehead, eyes, neck, creases of the elbows, wrists, groin, and creases of the knees. This skin condition causes a person’s skin to turn red, become dry and flakey, and become extremely itchy. In some cases the dry areas can become thick and crusted and appear as scabs. This skin disorder is a very common, chronic and hereditary skin disorder that more than fifteen million American adults and children suffer from. Between five and seven percent of people across the globe suffer from this condition. It was estimated by the Academy of Dermatology that approximately twenty percent of infants and children will experience the symptoms of eczema at some point in their childhood or infancy. Of this twenty percent, most will show some signs and symptoms in the first year of life, and ninety percent will show signs and symptoms within the first five years.

What Causes Someone To Experience Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) and Its Symptoms?

Although scientists and researchers do not know exactly what causes a person to start experiencing symptoms, it is often the result of some sort of allergic reaction. People with this skin condition typically have skin that is more sensitive to certain ‘triggers’. When a child or someone in the family has asthma, hay fever, allergies, or food allergies, the children are more likely to have eczema. If you have already been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis it will commonly flare up during the following times:

  • Times of high stress
  • When you have a bacterial infection
  • When the skin becomes irritated by certain perfumes, detergents, or fabrics
  • When the temperature is extremely high or low.

Eczema tends to run in the family (hereditary) and it is also common for a child to have eczema if one or both of their parents suffer from this skin condition. The reason this skin disorder occurs is due to specific changes in certain human genes. However, the full details of the condition are still unknown to scientists and researchers everywhere.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)?

If you think you may have this extremely annoying skin disorder then there are certain symptoms that you will want to check for before deciding to consult your doctor. In no case should you ever try to diagnose yourself. Each case may differ from person to person, frequency of flares, and length of time the flares last. The most common symptoms include the following:

  • Dryness
  • Flaking
  • Blistering
  • Scaling
  • Hyperpigmentation (Darkening of the area of skin affected)
  • Small red bumps
  • Inflammation (warmth, swelling, and irritation on and around affected skin)
  • Thickening of affected area due to constant scratching

Since scratching the affected area generally will not relieve you of feeling as though your skin itches, you should try to avoid this as much as possible. It is best to get a proper diagnosis and receive medications to help with the annoying symptoms. Sometimes you may have other symptoms such as a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, open lesions or sores, or a change or increase in the drainage from your eczema blisters. If you experience any of these symptoms you should immediately consult your doctor because these symptoms can possibly indicate a more serious condition than eczema.

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