Eczema is the inflammation of the outer layer of the skin, caused mostly by allergic reactions or in some cases by microbial infections. There are various types of Eczema that have been observed, depending on the symptoms and areas of effect on the body.
Types of Eczema – the Many Faces of the Malady
Eczema has most commonly been described as if the skin was “boiling”, which in true sense is the description of “dermatitis”. However, not all dermatitis cases are eczematic, but all eczema cases do appear like dermatitis. Hence, the confusion in appearance is what has been the biggest roadblock in the accurate diagnosis of different types of Eczema. In the case of eczema, there are lesions formed on the skin which are usually filled with a transparent fluid, which ooze out and dry when the lesion bursts. Amongst the different types of eczema, the atopic dermatitis is the most widely prevalent and is hereditary in nature. Besides atopic dermatitis, the other common eczema types are contact dermatitis, xerotic eczema, and seborrhoeic dermatitis. The contact dermatitis is caused by the body’s reaction to an allergen or irritant. There are also some types of eczema which are less prevalent, such as dyshidrosis, neurodermatitis, and venous eczema.
Discoid Eczema – the Microbial Caused Dermatitis
Also referred to as Nummular dermatitis or Gravitational eczema, Discoid eczema is a less prevalent compared to other forms of eczema. Usually caused by microbial infection, the nummular dermatitis is identified by the characteristic oval-shaped lesions on the skin. This form of eczema does not have any age barrier, but is more commonly found in middle aged and older men. Being a chronic form of dermatitis, discoid eczema is known to cause much discomfort if not treated properly on the first onset. The lesions are known to worsen under the effect of dryness, caffeine, and even stress. As part of the treatment for nummular dermatitis, it is suggested to keep the skin moisturized, and the medical treatment involves the use of topical corticosteroids and anti-histamines.
Atopic Eczema – the Common Miscreant
The most common form of eczema is Atopic eczema, which has been found to be genetically linked and is a non-contagious form. The hereditary link of this type of dermatitis is made with families which have a history of asthma. The lesions in this eczema are found on almost all the exposed surfaces of the body, and are extremely itchy because of the effect of dryness. Because of the appearance of the lesions, redness of the skin, and the itchiness, it is usually confused with contact dermatitis which occurs as a reaction to an irritant. This eczema is known to be prevalent in infants, and also continues to persist later on also because of its inherant nature.