Types of Eczema

When we think of eczema we generally think of an allergic disposition leading to a red itchy rash on children. This type of eczema is known as atopic eczema and it is by far the most common form of eczema. It is however not the only type of eczema.

Atopic Eczema

This is the most common form of eczema and is closely associated with hay fever and asthma.

The most common symptom of atopic eczema is itchiness. There is also an overall dryness of the skin, redness and inflammation. Constant scratching can also cause the skin to split, leaving it more likely to become infected.

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Contact Dermatitis

There are two types of contact dermatitis – irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis is caused by frequent contact with everyday substances which are irritating to the skin. Prevention of this eczema is simple – avoid the irritants and keep the skin moist.

Allergic contact dermatitis is the result of an allergic reaction resulting when the body comes in direct contact with a substance that the body sees as an allergen. In order to stop reactions it is best to prevent contact with anything that you know causes a rash.

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Infantile Seborrheic Eczema (Cradle Cap)

A common eczema condition affecting babies usually less than 12 months of age. Infantile seborrhoeic eczema usually starts on the scalp or the nappy area and spreads. This type of eczema looks unpleasant, but it is not sore or itchy and will clear in just a few months. The use of effective emollients can help speed this eczema healing process.

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Adult Seborrheic Eczema

This eczema usually affects adults between the ages of 20 and 40.

It is usually seen on the scalp as mild dandruff, but can spread to the face, ears and chest. The skin becomes red, inflamed and flakes. It is believed to be caused by a yeast growth.

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Dyshidrotic Eczema

This adult form of eczema is a recurrent skin reaction affecting the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. It features itchy bumps which develop into small clear, fluid filled, blisters.

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Nummular Eczema

Also known as discoid eczema this chronic form of dermatitis develops as coin shaped lesions scattered over the body. It most commonly affects older people with excessively dry skin.

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Eczema Herpeticum

From the Herpes Simplex virus. This is a serious vesiculopustular eruption of viral origin. It is superimposed on pre-existing atopic dermatitis.

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Eczema Vaccinatum

This eczema results from the vaccinia virus (smallpox).

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Stasis Eczema

Also known as varicose eczema, this condition affects the lower legs, usually due to impeded circulation. There is also, generally, edema pigmentation and often chronic ulceration.

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