Eczema is a term used for different types of skin inflammation. Eczema can affect people of any age, although the condition is most common in infants. Eczema is caused by a defect of the skin that impairs its function as a barrier which when combined with an abnormal function of the immune system forms the basis of this condition.
The different forms of Eczema are:
- Atopic dermatitis: It is a chronic skin disease characterized by itchy, inflamed skin and is the most common cause of eczema. Factors that cause atopic dermatitis may include environmental factors; food allergies; or other allergies. It also tends to run in families, and people who develop this condition often have a family history of other allergic conditions such as asthma or hay fever.
- Contact eczema is a reaction that includes redness, itching, and burning sensation in areas where the skin has come into contact with an allergy-causing substance or with a general irritant.
- Seborrheic eczema is a form of skin inflammation with yellowish, oily, scaly patches of skin on the scalp, face, and occasionally other parts of the body.
- Nummular eczema is characterized by coin-shaped patches of irritated skin on the arms, back, buttocks, and lower legs .They are crusted and extremely itchy.
- Neurodermatitis is a chronic skin inflammation caused by a scratch-itch cycle that begins with a localized itch that becomes intensely irritated when scratched.
Usually eczema is treated with ointments or creams that give a soothing effect but in extreme condition e treat our patients with phototherapy. It involves exposing the skin that has been to a controlled dose of ultraviolet light. Sources of UV light used in phototherapy are UVB, PUVA, and lasers.