1. What is eczema?
Eczema is a common skin problem in children but may also affect the adult population. It causes redness and itchiness on the skin. It is a non-contagious disease, i.e., it does not spread from an affected person to a healthy person.
2. What are the symptoms of eczema?
The symptoms mainly include redness and rashes on the skin with an itchy feeling. In children, the rashes generally appear on knees, elbows, cheeks and scalp, while adults get rashes on the creases of the wrists, knees, elbows, face, neck and ankles. Scratch marks, inflammation, oozing, crusting, swelling and dark coloured patches are also observed in the affected areas.
3. What factors can lead to eczema?
Eczema occurs due to variation in the normal gene. Under normal conditions, our skin protects us against allergens, bacteria and other microorganisms in the environment and other irritants. In individuals with this gene variation, the skin loses its ability to provide this protection leading to eczema. Food allergy may also cause eczema in children.
4. What are the different types of eczema?
Atopic eczema is the most common type causing dry, itchy and scaly skin. Other types include:
- Discoid eczema with oval patches on the skin
- Varicose eczema affecting the lower legs
- Seborrhoeic eczema causing red scaly patch on the sides of nose, eyebrows, scalp and ears.
- Contact dermatitis, on contact with certain substances
- Dyshidrotic eczema causing tiny blisters on the hands
5. Who are more prone to eczema?
The main risk factors for eczema include personal or family history of hay fever, asthma, allergies or eczema. Therefore, people with these conditions are more prone to eczema.