Altered Skin Color

Eczema is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition resulting in a red rash and severe itching. Eczema also affects the blood vessels in the skin, which results in altered skin color.

Redness of the skin, known as erythema is a common symptom of eczema. It is caused by the widening of the blood vessels in the skin, which allows increased blood to flow to the affected area.

The localized dilatation of blood vessels has a disruptive effect o the skin’s circulation causing reduced blood flow to non affected areas. It is not uncommon for people with eczema, especially children to appear pale in areas not affected by eczema.

Pale patches of pigmented skin may also develop as eczema disturbs the skin’s production of the brown pigment melanin.

Many people with eczema also experience whitening of the skin when pressure is applied. This is because the skin’s heat control mechanism is affected as well as the activity of the blood vessels in the skin. Pressure on the skin will cause the blood vessels to contract thus making the skin appear white. This may also affect areas of the skin not affected by eczema.

Eczema is a complex condition leading to more than just a superficial rash and an itch. The symptoms are far more extensive than many people realize. Indeed many may suffer these symptoms and not realise that they are related to their eczema.

Mel Sinclair, RN