Eczema is a remarkably common skin condition. In fact; it is one of the most common skin conditions out there. Whilst it is a condition which currently can’t be cured (although medical experts are working hard at that, I assure you), it is a condition which can be controlled to the point where it poses very little impact on somebody’s day to day life. On this page I am going to take a little look at what eczema actually is. I am not going to go into eczema treatments on this page. I just want to give you a brief overview of the actual condition.
Eczema, although there are multiple forms of the condition, involves a number of different symptoms. As mentioned; there are multiple forms of the condition (and we will come onto those soon), but they tend to have quite a large overlap in terms of symptoms.
- Red skin. This will tend to be very inflamed. It is worth noting at this stage that Eczema can occur anywhere on the body. If you get it regularly though then you will most likely find that it only appears in the same place over and over again.
- An itch is probably one of the main symptoms of eczema. However it is also one of the main symptoms of a plethora of other skin conditions. It is important to note that you are not suffering from eczema unless you notice that your symptoms also include a rash. Even then there is no guarantee that you are actually dealing with eczema. The only way in which you will be able to determine what you are actually suffering from is to get in touch with your doctor.
- Those who are suffering from an eczema flare-up will most likely notice dry skin. This dry skin will tend to become thickened over time. It is worth noting that thickened skin is not actually a symptom of the eczema. The thickened skin actually comes from the fact that those suffering from the condition will tend to scratch the area a lot which will in turn cause it to ‘harden’ up. It is worth knowing that many people who do try to scratch the itch may end up dealing with a small amount of pain in the area. Scratching will generally not get rid of the itch. The best method that you can possibly use to deal with the itch is to just leave it to do its work. It will stop eventually. If you continue to scratch your eczema then you need to be aware that the symptoms are going to get a whole lot worse over time. You may also be opening up your skin to infections and the like which is obviously not something that you are going to want to be dealing with.
- Those that suffer from eczema may notice lumps or blisters in the area where the skin is reddened. It is however worth noting that this is a symptom which only tends to occur in those who are suffering from particularly severe eczema. Not everybody will have to deal with this symptom thankfully.
- From time to time it may look as though there is an infection in the area. This can cause the skin to either leak a pus-like substance or cause the skin to start crusting over. It can look rather horrendous at this stage and generally this will only appear in those who are suffering from the most severe forms of eczema. It is however worth keeping an eye out for it though.
As I mentioned at the start; eczema is actually an incredibly common condition. It seems to be getting more common too with a sharp rise in people being diagnosed with the condition over the past few years. It is unknown as to why this is happening. It is likely down to the fact that people are really ‘crazy’ about making sure things are kept clean and perfect nowadays. This can in turn lead to problems in the immune system (the immune system will not learn how to deal with certain types of bacteria), and this can lead to some rather serious infections over time.
Most people will find that if they do deal with an eczema flare-up then it can be dealt with pretty quickly. Sadly, and this is something that I mentioned right at the start, eczema is not currently a curable condition. It can however be controlled to the point where it is unlikely that somebody will suffer from a flare-up. It is however going to be very difficult to deal with severe eczema and the like, although it is very rare for people to suffer from that.
If you believe that you are suffering from eczema then you should really talk to your doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to help you to determine what is actually causing your symptoms, and perhaps more importantly help you to clear up the condition in the quickest possible way. They will also be more than happy to provide you with advice with regards to what you can do to deal with the condition ‘going forward’.
Image credit to James Heilman, MD