Eczema: Symptoms, Treatment, and Remedies


What is eczema?


Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. The word 'eczema' comes from a Greek word that means 'to boil over,' which is in fact a good description considering that when one suffers from eczema, the skin flares up and becomes red, inflamed, itchy, and patchy.
This is a very common condition among babies and children. It can appear on any part of the body.


How does eczema occur?


Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, it is thought to be an overactive response by the immune system of the body to an irritant. It is this response which causes the symptoms of eczema.

Eczema is common among people whose families have a history of allergies or asthma.

There are eight different types of eczema:

  • Atopic Dermatitis: Atopic refers to a personal and family tendency to develop eczema, asthma and/or hay fever.

  • Discoid: This is a chronic skin condition of sores with inflammation. These lesions have a scaling and crusty appearance.

  • Contact Dermatitis: is the most common type of work-related skin disease. It occurs when occurs when the skin develops an allergic reaction after being exposed to a foreign substance.

  • Adult Seborrheic: It is a common skin disease It's a common skin disease that looks similar to psoriasis that commonly affects adults. It tends to affect the scalp, face, torso and flexures.

  • Infantile Seborrhoeic: It is a condition that can affect infants and cause yellow, crusty, greasy scaling frequently on the scalp skin

  • Pompholyx: The key characteristic of pompholyx eczema is blistering that is restricted to the hands and feet.

  • Asteatotic Eczema: Asteatotic eczema almost always affects people over the age of 60. It is a form of eczema in which the skin becomes abnormally dry, itchy and cracked.

  • Varicose Eczema: Varicose eczema, also known as venous, gravitational or stasis eczema, is a long-term skin condition that affects the lower legs. In this condition skin discolouration and thickening occurs.

Atopic dermatitis seems to be the most common form of eczema, although it is possible to have more than one type of eczema at a time.

Who is prone to eczema?


Some people may be more prone to eczema than others. They include:

  • children who live in cold climates

  • people who live in urban areas, which are usually highly polluted

  • people who live in a climate that is dry all year-round

  • people who experience low humidity in the winter

  • people who are prone to allergies

What are the causes of eczema?


The causes of eczema can include:

  • Genetics or having family members who have had asthma, eczema or allergies such as hay fever.

  • Suffering from problems with the immune system.

  • Environmental factors such as exposure to toxic substances, high levels of pollution or extreme climate.

  • Certain defects in the skin that affect the functioning of the skin to act as a barrier against germs

What are the symptoms of eczema? How is eczema diagnosed?


The common eczema symptoms include: 

  • dry and itchy skin

  • sensitive skin

  • redness and inflammation of the skin

  • irritation on the skin

  • rough and scaly or leathery patches of skin

  • crusting or oozing from the patches on the skin

  • swelling of the affected skin area

Diagnosis


There are no specific tests to determine eczema. The doctor who can be a paediatrician, a dermatologist, or your primary care provider can make a diagnosis of eczema by looking at your skin and by asking a few questions.

The doctor may suggest some allergy tests (especially if it is child), since many people suffering from eczema also have allergies.


What are the complications of eczema?


The complications of eczema include:

  • dry skin

  • erythroderma (exfoliative dermatitis), another type of inflammatory skin condition which can worsen the condition of eczema

  • people with eczema have a lower resistance to the herpes simplex virus, which is the virus that causes cold sores

  • itching, which may be severe, especially at night

  • red to brownish-grey patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, chest, eyelids, elbows and knees. In infants, the patches may appear on the face and the scalp

  • sleep disturbances

  • small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched

  • thickened, cracked, scaly skin

  • attention deficit hyperactivity, which studies show is linked to eczema

  • raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching

  • eye problems such as conjunctivitis, keratoconus (cone-shaped eyeball), cataracts, and retinal detachment.

  • self-esteem issues

  • hay fever, or food allergies

What is the treatment for eczema?


The doctor based on your condition may prescribe oral medicines along with an ointment for topical application. He may also suggest some moisturizers for daily application on the affected areas.

Would you like to consult a doctor for Eczema ?

Patient Experiences

Kshitij Bhotika
Effective Homeopathic Treatment for Eczema
We went to the doctor to treat our 1 year old's persistent skin problem of dryness and itching. Pediatricians had told us she had Eczema, but allopathy has no cure for Eczema - only steroids creams to suppress the symptoms temporarily. We were not comfortable with using steroids. Doctor heard our case completely including the detailed family history. He prescribed and explained medication and lifestyle changes to cure this problem. While the impact is yet to be seen, since Homeopathy takes its time, talking to the doctor gave us a lot of comfort and confidence. Doctor experiments with a few medicines before finding the right one for you. Given my aversion to allopathy for chronic problems, I found the doctor and his ways, very reassuring. But one needs to be patient. The doctor is also very respectful of ensuring patient dont have to wait and has an effective appointment booking system....Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Deepak Tibrewal
The Homeopath
Yuga Sushant Gawade
Homeopathic Treatment for Eczema
Excellent experience. My daughter's skin rash and eczema issue went away completely. Magical transformation in short time. For further details contact me at sushant9sushant@gmail.com I also have before and after pics of my 5 year old daughter . also taking treatment for myself for my vata type related issues and stress. So far result is very good. There are many doctors and homeopathy clinics in and near vishal Nagar but I bet, just visit the clinic to experience the skill of doctor Pooja Ostwal and you will not be disappointed if you continue treatment. 5 out of 5 must visit. I trust the doctor. My 75 year old mother is also taking treatment for hyper tension and blood sugar. Thank you Doctor....Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Pooja Ostwal
Ostwal Homoeopathy Clinic
Adway
Eczema Reduced by 80%
I was suffering from eczema from 2010, I tried steroids, moisturisers, creams and what not. It just kept coming and was showing no signs to reduce. Then I came to know about Dr. Akshata. Earlier this year in Jan I went to her clinic. After detailed case study she gave a single dose of some medicine, trust me from the day itching was stopped. 5hen Follow up treatment started to make wonders. I am reallybhappy to say that the problem is reduced upto 80%. I am sure I will get rid of it this year itself. All thanks to Dr. Akshata. ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Akshata Nabar-Rajhans
Dr. Akshata Nabar's Homoeo Clinic

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
Dear Sir i have eczema problem on my face, knees and backside and Thais.................................................................
Dr. Shaurya Rohatgi
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Eczema has to be treated in the acute stage and later some precautions can help minimise the recurrences. Do not use soap over the affected areas. Please contact me through online consult option with photos or visit me at my clinic  for accurate diagnosis and treatment. The distribution of your rashes may point in direction of atopic eczema.
Verified User
I am having Eczema problems for quite some time. The acne is present in the forehead and temple zone. Also in the scalp.
Dr. Shaurya Rohatgi
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Acne can be treated easily with facewash, tablets and creams. Some people have more oilyness on the face which results in breakouts. After completing treatment for controlling the active breakouts, tablets can be stopped and creams need to be continued to prevent recurrence. Diet and lifestyle modifications are also important. Please don't do any self treatment such as over the counter Steroid creams. Don't burst the pimples with your fingers as it can result in ugly scars. The marks and pores left behind after the pimples heal can also be treated. Please call me or send your photos through online consult option for detailed prescription and diet advice.,,
Ask health queries and get free answers from doctors in 24 hrs

Did you know?

Eczema more common among the elderly

Eczema, benign skin tumors, and pigmentary disorders are more common in people aged 51 years and above, and fungal infection and acne are more common in adolescent age groups in India.

More common among women

Prevalence of eczema is higher among women than in men in India

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Home Remedies

Eat Turmeric

Curcumin, an antioxidant found in turmeric, has been shown to protect skin by reducing wound-healing time. Crush some raw turmeric and take two teaspoonfuls of its juice preferably in the early morning on empty stomach.

Apply Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used to soothe skin inflammation and burns, and also is a disinfectant. Dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and directly apply on the scaly areas for quick relief.

Oatmeal Baths

Oatmeal baths are also well known for soothing itchiness and inflammation. Grind a fistful of oatmeal in a blender and sprinkle the powder onto your bath water. You can also add some bath salts to the water. This will help to greatly reduce your symptoms.

Apply Aloe Vera Gel

You can apply the extract of an aloe vera plant which will reduce your itching, inflammation, redness, and scaling. You need to apply the gel several times in a day to get effective results.

Apply Baking Soda

Mix 1 1/2 cups of baking soda with 3 gallons of water. Use a washcloth to apply the mixture to your itchy skin for quick relief.
Book an appointment with a Dermatologist