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Eczema: Which Type Do You Have?

Aug 17, 2007
Eczema is a very common problem worldwide. If you are suffering from the condition you know that it is itchy, frustrating and it spreads faster than an Australian bushfire, but did you know that there was more than one type of the condition?

The Different Types of Eczema:

When talking about Eczema, we do it in general terms. We assume that there is only one form, and everyone who has it, has the same thing. However, whilst they all may look similar, there are many different types of Eczema and each one has its own unique cause and treatment.

Atopic Eczema
This is the most common form of Eczema and it is often closely linked to Asthma and Hay fever. It usually runs in the family and is common in both adults and children. The itchiness of this condition can sometimes be unbearable and it can be hard to ignore. However, if you do not ignore it, it will spread throughout your whole body.

Symptoms of this condition include redness and itchiness, and the skin is usually dry and inflamed. If you cannot control yourself from scratching the Eczema, it will often split the skin and in some cases it will become infected. This then causes the infected area to weep and crack.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis
If you have this kind of Eczema it is because you have spent a lot of time around everyday substances such as chemicals and detergents. Washing up liquid can sometimes cause this condition and so it is important to wear gloves to protect your hands, if you do suffer from this condition. Usually this occurs in adults as children do not go near many chemicals and as with all Eczema, it itches!

Allergic Contact Dermatitis
If you are allergic to a product or substance which comes into contact with the skin, it is possible that you will have this kind of Eczema. Usually the allergic reaction builds up over time due to repeated use of the substance which you are allergic to. Common allergic contact Dermatitis is linked to Nickel, Belt Buckles and even earrings.

If you do notice that you are getting an allergic reaction to something, it is always better to avoid that thing as much as possible and to protect yourself when needed.

Infantile Seborrhoeic Eczema
This type of Eczema affects babies under the age of one year old, and as of yet, the cause is still unknown. Usually starting on the scalp, or nappy area, this condition quickly spreads, and even though it does look really unpleasant, it does not itch or cause the baby to be uncomfortable in any way.
Usually this condition clears itself up within a couple of months.

Adult Seborrhoeic Eczema
This usually affects people aged between 20 to 40 years of age, and it often starts as mild dandruff on the scalp. It is not uncommon for the condition to spread onto the face and chest, and it often becomes inflamed and it starts to flake.
The cause is though to be down to a yeast growth in the affected area, and it can become infected.

Varicose Eczema
If you have Varicose Eczema you will notice that it affects the lower legs, and usually it affects people in their middle to later years. It is generally caused by poor circulation and usually the ankles are affected. The skin becomes itchy, inflamed and it has a speckled appearance.

Discoid Eczema
This type of Eczema usually is found in adults and it is usually coin shaped in appearance. It is usually found on the trunk or the lower legs and it usually becomes itchy and it weeps.

How Do You Treat The Various Types of Eczema?
With so many different varieties of Eczema around, will the same treatments work for all of them?

Well, most of them are treated with special moisturizing creams and emollients, and sometimes steroids are used to calm the inflammation down. With Adult Seborrhoeic Eczema, it is possible that you may need an anti-fungal cream if it becomes infected.

Overall, it is better to see your doctor who may refer you to a Dermatologist. Whichever type of Eczema you do have, there is a treatment available, you just have to find out first, what the cause is.
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