Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that is caused by a combination of immune system activation, genetics, environmental triggers, and stress. When someone has eczema, their immune system overreacts to minor irritants or allergens, which can lead to inflammation of the skin. Healthy skin helps retain moisture and protect it from bacteria, irritants, and allergens. However, people with eczema have a genetic variation that affects the skin's ability to provide this protection, making it more susceptible to environmental factors.
Immunosuppressants are prescription drugs that can be used to prevent the immune system from overreacting, but they come with side effects such as an increased risk of developing cancer, infection, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema and is characterized by itching and redness of the skin. People with eczema may also have allergies or asthma. There are other forms of eczema that have their own set of symptoms and triggers. Natural and alternative treatments such as bleach baths, cryotherapy, medical-grade honey, meditation, and acupuncture may be successful in treating eczema.
Many factors can contribute to eczema, including the interaction between the environment and genes. According to the National Health Service (NHS), research has shown that external and internal factors can contribute to eczema outbreaks. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes dry skin, itchy skin, rashes, scaly patches, blisters, and skin infections. Atopic dermatitis causes the immune system to send inflammatory signals to the surface of the skin which can lead to itching and rashes. People with eczema may also have a deficiency of a protein called “filagrin” which helps maintain moisture in the skin; this deficiency can lead to drier and itchier skin. Eczema carries additional financial burdens such as the cost of treatment and medication as well as lost working hours.
Nummular eczema and ringworm have similar symptoms but require different treatment plans. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, researchers know that people develop eczema because of the interaction between genes and environmental triggers. Some forms of eczema may stay with you throughout your life but there are steps you can take to reduce symptoms. Eczema tends to be exacerbated when the skin is exposed to external irritants which causes the immune system to overreact. Listen to how people living with eczema describe what is going on under the skin and how they live with it.
Research also shows that some people with eczema have a mutation of the gene responsible for creating filagrin.