Eczema: Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


What is Eczema?

what is eczema

Eczema is a term for a group of conditions that makes your skin inflamed or irritated.
It is very common, rather than a specific health condition, eczema is a reaction pattern that the skin produces in several diseases.

It begins as red, raised tiny blisters containing a clear fluid atop red, elevated plaques.
In fact, over 31 million Americans have some form of eczema. Eczema can begin during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood and it can range from mild to severe.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, national eczema affects 25 percent of children.
When an irritant or an allergen from outside or inside the body ‘switches on’ the immune system, it produces inflammation.



    • Itching
    • The itching can be intense. The damage to the skin during eczema is often due to scratching.
    • Redness
    • The affected skin may bleed and appear blotchy
    • Cracking
    • Severely affected skin may develop painfully, deep cracks also called fissures.
    • Scaling
    • The surface of the skin can flake off, giving the skin a rough and scaly appearance.

1.Atopic Dermatitis


Eczema Atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema is the most common type of eczema. It is characterized by red, inflamed areas of the skin. Usually, it’s clustered at the armpits, elbows, knees, and neck or face area. Children in this condition are more likely to also have a food sensitivity. This is usually inherited and may also have a genetic component.


      • Scaly patches, dry skin
      • Darkening of the skin around the eyes
      • Rash that bubbles up
      • Cracked skin that hurts and sometimes bleed
      • Cracked skin that hurts and sometimes bleed

2.Contact Dermatitis

If you have red, irritated skin that is caused by a reaction to substances you touch, then you may have contact dermatitis. It comes in two types: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis.
Sometimes a single substance may act both as an allergen and an irritant on the skin. Other substances may cause skin damage after sunlight exposure and lead to phototoxic dermatitis.


      • Hives (a type of rash that consists of small red bumps)
      • Fluid-filled blisters can form that may ooze and crust over

3.Dyshidrotic eczema


Dyshidrotic eczema may cause small blisters.  Dyshidrotic eczema, or pompholyx eczema, typically appears in adults under 40 years of age.  It usually occurs on the hands and feet and has characteristic symptoms, including intense itching and the appearance of small blisters.  In some cases, the blisters can become large and watery.

The blisters may become infected too, which can lead to pain and swelling.  They may also ooze pus.  Blisters typically clear up within a few weeks.  Following this, the skin often becomes dry and cracked, which may lead to painful skin fissures.  It is unclear what causes dyshidrotic eczema.  However, it is more common in people with eczema who have:

Symptoms Of dyshidrotic eczema:

      • fluid-filled blisters form on your fingers, toes, palms, and soles of your feet – these blisters may itch
      • the skin can scale, crack, and flake


      • Dyshidrotic eczema can be caused by
      • allergies hands and feet
      • exposure to substances such as nickel, cobalt, or chromium salt
      • stress


discoid eczema on woman looking in mirror

4.Discoid Dermatitis

It is a condition marked by the disc-like shape of the rash that develops the rash typically forms on the forearms, legs, and lower bacon men in these cases, and as with many other forms of this condition, the itchy skin and inflammation don’t have clearly understood causes they do have certainly understood triggers. These things might cause a discoid eczema reaction.

Discoid eczema, or nummular eczema, is recognizable due to the disc-shaped patches of itchy, red, cracked, and swollen skin that it causes. The discs typically appear on the lower legs, torso, and forearms. Sometimes, the center of the disc clears up, leaving a ring of red skin. Discoid eczema can occur in people of any age, including children. As with other types of eczema, the causes of discoid eczema are not fully understood. However, known triggers and risk factors include:

      • dry skin injuries, such as friction or burns. insect bites
      • poor blood flow
      • cold climate
      • bacterial skin infection
      • certain medications

5.Asteatosis Dermatitis


his form can be especially challenging to identify because it only develops in adults over age 60 years as the skin thins. There are not a lot of other triggers understood beyond those common to many other forms of dermatitis like hot baths dry skin and cold weather the first step in treating your eczema is an accurate diagnosis.

Schedule a consultation at Dr Amal Al Qedrah Medical Center with one of our experienced professionals will be able to educate you on your type of eczemaspecific triggers and provide the best treatment plan for you.
Stasis dermatitis happens when fluid leaks out of weakened veins into your skin. This fluid causes swelling, redness, itching, and pain. Another form is seborrheic dermatitis.

Symptoms Of stasis dermatitis:

      • the lower part of your legs may swell up, especially during the day when you’ve been walking
      • your legs may ache or feel heavy
      • the skin over those varicose veins will be dry and itchy you develop open sores on your lower legs and the tops of your feet.

6.Venous eczema

Venous eczema or varicose eczema This is seen in persons with varicose veins and thus commonly affects lower limbs around ankles. There is redness, scaling, darkening of the skin, and itching. This may be a precursor of leg ulcers.

7.Autoeczematization or auto sensitization

This Is eczema seen when infected with parasites, fungi, bacteria, or viruses. It is completely curable with the clearance of the original infection.

8.Neurodermatitis or lichen simplex chronicus

This is localized scratch dermatitis that is seen as an itchy area of thickened, pigmented eczema patch. It occurs due to regular rubbing, pressure, or scratching a particular area. Prurigo nodularis is a related condition.

9.Hand eczema

Eczema that only affects your hands is called hand eczema. You may get this type if you work in a job like hairdressing or cleaning, where you regularly use chemicals that irritate the skin.

Symptoms Of hand eczema:

-your hands get red, itchy. and dry they may form cracks or blisters.

-Hand eczema is triggered by exposure to chemicals. People who work in jobs that expose them to irritants are more likely to get this form, such as cleaning hairdressing.

eczema types woman scratching hand


        • Treatments for atopic eczema can help to ease the symptoms. There’s no cure, but many children find their symptoms naturally improve as they get older. The main treatments for atopic eczema are:
        • emollients (moisturizers) – used every day to stop the skin from becoming dry topical corticosteroids – creams and ointments used to reduce swelling and redness during flare-ups Other treatments include:
        • topical pimecrolimus or tacrolimus for eczema in sensitive sites not responding to simpler treatment
        •  antihistamines for severe itching
        • bandages or special body suits to allow the body to heal underneath
        • Wet dressings

Wet dressings are an effective method to treat severe eczema and often reduce symptoms in several hours to days. While wet dressings may sound simple, a doctor or nurse may need to apply them. They’ll spread a corticosteroid cream on the affected area and cover it with a wet bandage. The wet bandages are then covered with dry bandages. Sometimes, a doctor can show you how to apply the wet dressings so you can put them on at home and use them as home remedies.

Oral Medications

Doctors may prescribe oral medications to people with eczema that isn’t in one specific area. Those who don’t respond to creams or ointments benefit from taking oral medications after medical advice. These work by slowing the immune system response, which can help to reduce the severity of eczema symptoms. Examples of oral medications for severe eczema symptoms include:

        • azathioprine (Imuran)
        • cyclosporine
        • methotrexate
        • mycophenolate mofetil
        • oral steroids, such as prednisolone or prednisone While these may help to reduce the incidence of eczema, they can come with some severe side effects.


woman scratching hand

Try to Reduce the Damage From Scratching

Eczema is often itchy, and it can be very tempting to scratch the affected areas of skin. But scratching usually damages the skin, which can itself cause more eczema to occur. The skin eventually thickens into leathery areas because of chronic scratching. Deep scratching also causes bleeding and increases the risk of your skin becoming infected or scarred. Try to reduce scratching whenever possible.

You could try gently rubbing your skin with your fingers instead. If your baby has atopic eczema, anti-scratch mittens may stop them from scratching their skin. Keep your nails short and clean to minimize damage to the skin from unintentional scratching.

Choosing emollient Several different emollients are available. Talk to a pharmacist for advice on which emollient to use. You may need to try a few to find one that works for you. You may also be advised to emollients, such as

        • an ointment for very dry skin
        • cream or lotion for less dry skin an emollient to use instead of soap
        • an emollient to use on your face and hands, and a different one to use on your body The difference between lotions, creams and ointments is the amount of oil they contain. Ointments contain the most oil so they can be quite greasy but are the most effective at keeping moisture in the skin.

Ointments contain the most oil so they can be quite greasy but are the most effective at keeping moisture in the skin. Lotions contain the least amount of oil so are not greasy but can be less effective. Creams are somewhere in between. If you have been using a particular emollient for some time, it may eventually become less effective or may start to irritate your skin. If this is the case, you may find another product that suits you better. You can speak to a pharmacist about other options. The best emollient is the one you feel happy using every day.

Preventing The following may help alleviate the symptoms and prevent future bouts (flares) of eczema:

Use moisturizer often (at least twice a day) even when symptoms. Applying moisturizer while the skin is still moist after a bath or shower to help lock in the moisture. Adding oil to bath water or making a bleach bath will also help to moisturize dry, eczema-prone skin. Discuss with a doctor or pharmacist the different types of moisturizers available. it may take some time and experimentation to find the best product for your child Wear pure cotton or cotton-mixture clothes instead of wool or synthetic not use soap, especially deodorant or antibacterial soaps.

Instead use a mild, non-fragranced liquid cleanser, emulsifying ointment, or water-dispersible cream showers or baths and use warm instead of hot water After bathing, gently pat rather than rub your skin dry using Avoid enzyme detergents and fabric softeners when washing clothes as these can imitate the skin Avoid foods that are known to provoke allergic reactions such as peanuts, eggs, seafood, milk soy and chocolate Direct use of antiseptics and solvents should be avoided Environmental factors, such as heat, sunlight, and cold can irritate the condition. If this is the case, avoid them as much as possible Use a humidifier in winter and summer Bandages can be used to stop scratching at night. Cotton mittens can also be helpful Fingernails should be kept short to decrease the damage caused by scratching.

applying ointment to reduce skin condition

How Can I Reduce My Risk of Eczema (atopic dermatitis)?

There are steps you can take that may prevent eczema outbreaks:

      • Establish a skincare routine and follow your healthcare professional’s recommendations for keeping your skin healthy.
      • Wear gloves for jobs where you must put your hands in water. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to absorb sweat, and wear gloves outside, especially during the winter months.
      • Use mild soap in your bath shower, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing. Apply a moisturizing cream or ointment immediately after drying your skin to help seal in the moisture. Reapply cream or ointment for two days.
      • Take baths or showers with tepid (lukewarm) rather than hot.
      • Drink least glasses of water each day. Water helps to keep your skin moist. Try to avoid getting too hot and sweaty.
      • Wear loose clothes made of cotton and other natural materials. Wash new clothing before wearing. Avoid wool.
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