Eczema - What Are The Signs?
Eczema is a skin condition that affects young children, teens and adults alike. The rash occurs on the top layers of skin and can be a very itchy unsightly rash. There is no permanent eczema treatment, only ways to treat eczema symptoms and keep outbreaks of the rash down to a minimum. Eczema is known as an 'atopic' rash (also called atopic dermatitis as it only occurs directly on top of the skin and not under it.
Eczema causes the skin on the affected areas to become very dry, red and itchy, sometimes the skin will crack from a lack of moisture in the area. The eczema itself often looks like little red bumps all over the skin and can turn into larger sore like wounds. It is very important not to scratch your eczema as it is very itchy and it will spread if any of the blister-like bumps are popped open.
The causes of eczema
Eczema can be caused by many things. Most children with the rash tendency will have eczema at a very young age. Eczema is more likely to occur in a child before any onset of allergies or asthma symptoms. One of these causes is genes, if your parents have sensitive skin or allergies the likelihood of getting eczema is likely to be higher. The rash varies from person to person, some may have it all over the body, and it may be rather acute, others may have a mild case on the hands or the tips of the fingers.
Stress, weather, allergic reactions to lotions and excessive sweating are all causes for the eczema rash to appear. Eczema is not contagious so you can not pass it on to anyone from contact. People with asthma or allergens can develop a worse case of eczema than usual.
How do I know I have Eczema?
Eczema is an atopic rash, so you will not have it under layers of skin. Before the rash occurs you will have intense itching in the affected areas and they will become dry and cracked, eventually leading to small blisters all over. If you scratch at these itchy bumps a fluid may leak from them appearing as a clear substance. Eczema when popped has an appearance of having just washed your hands; little water like drops will appear from the eczema bumps. If this fluid reaches any other part of the area infected it will spread to other areas and cause more unpleasant itching.
You may notice large cracks in the skin that can bleed, will not cause pain, but will be extremely itchy and can wake you up in the middle of the night. Eczema is most commonly found on the legs the back of the neck and creases between your fingers and toes (as there is more sweat there) as well as the forearm. Adults with eczema rash may see it as larger patches on the lower legs and it may be discolored and have a rough texture.
There is no cure for eczema, changes in diet or using hypoallergenic lotions can help but the rash is always going to remain in the body and may be seen from time to time.
Go to our H-Eczema page