Eczema is a nonspecific term for many types of skin inflammation. Also known as dermatitis, atopic eczema, or atopic dermatitis; is a common skin disease in children and adults. It’s more common in people with a family history of this condition.
The main symptom is an itchy rash with dry and scaly patches that appears often on the arms or legs but can appear anywhere on the body. Children can develop eczema during their first year of life. Children often get dry and scaly patches on the scalp, forehead, cheeks, and face. Most types of eczema are not contagious with only types caused by fungus or scabies being contagious.
No matter where it appears, eczema can be very itchy. Infants may rub their skin against bedding or carpeting to relieve the itch. In children and adults, the itch can be so intense that sleep is disrupted. Too much scratching can lead to a skin infection.
Because eczema can be long lasting, it is important to learn how to take care of the skin. Proper treatment and good skin care can alleviate much of the discomfort and cause eczema to flare up less often.
A treatment plan will include medication, skin care tips and lifestyle advice. Skin care and lifestyle changes can help prevent future flare-ups. Medical treatment of eczema will help it to disappear or diminish greatly. When eczema develops in infants or young children, the child also tends to get better with time. For some children, the condition completely disappears by age 2. Only about half of children who get eczema will have it as an adult but commonly becomes milder with age.
Medical Treatment Options Include:
- Oral Medications
- Steroid creams
- UV Light therapy
Photo courtesy of American Academy of Dermatology