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Eczema Article

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´╗┐Eczema Is Not Just a Teenage Problem

from: Skin Care Adviser

Eczema is a term that is used to describe a variety of inflamed skin conditions, one of the most common being atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema.

The word "atopic" means a condition that develops when an individual becomes overly sensitive to allergens such as molds, pollens, dust, animal dander or certain foods.

Dermatitis means the skin is red, inflamed and sore.

Children who have eczema often have family members that have asthma, hay fever or other allergies. About 50% of the children that have eczema will develop asthma or hay fever in their future.

From 10 to 20% of the population in the world is affected by eczema at some point in their lives, usually in childhood. Eczema is a chronic and itchy rash that often reoccurs. However, this is not always the case with eczema.

Occasionally, a young child will develop eczema and it will disappear, as they get older never to be seen again. Sometimes by the time the child reaches six, their eczema is gone, whereas other times, it may flare up from time to time right up until adolescence.

Usually, atopic dermatitis or eczema will come and go depending on different factors. The cause for eczema is unknown, although it's believed to be caused by an abnormal response to the body's immune system. I

ndividuals with eczema develop and inflammation to irritating substances which results in itching and scratching. Eczema is not contagious, but it also cannot be cured. In most cases, the condition can be managed with a treatment program and avoiding things that may make it worse.

Symptoms of eczema may very with each individual, but they usually occur in children between 2 and 6 years of age. It will usually have occurred before 5 years of age.

Eczema may look different in each individual, but it's usually described as red, dry, very itchy patches on the skin. It starts as an itch that is scratched and then develops into a rash. This is probably the reason eczema is called "the itch that rashes".

Eczema can develop on any part of the body. In babies, it usually occurs on the cheeks, forehead, legs, forearms, scalp and neck. Children and adults usually develop eczema on the face, neck and insides of the knees, elbows and ankles.

In some, the eczema may bubble up and ooze, whereas in others, it's dry, red and scaly skin blotches.

Treatment of eczema is topical corticosteroids in the form of steroid or cortisone creams and ointments. They are applied to the affected area twice each day. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent further infection or antihistamines to control the itching.

Older children that have severe eczema may be treated with an ultraviolet light prescribed by a dermatologist.