Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that causes red, itchy patches of skin to form. It is caused by a combination of immune system activation, genetics, environmental triggers, and stress. People with eczema often have allergies or asthma along with the skin condition. There are several types of eczema, including dyshidrotic eczema, neurodermatitis, and nummular eczema.
Stasis dermatitis is another type of eczema that is caused by fluid flowing out of weakened veins into the skin. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it is believed to be related to an overactive immune system. Stress can be a trigger for eczema flare-ups, as can certain skincare products and materials such as wool. People with eczema should avoid harsh cleansers and wear gloves when it's cold.
Drinking water frequently can also help to reduce the symptoms of eczema. Treatment for eczema includes topical medications such as ointments or creams, as well as oral medications. A technique called “soaking and smearing” can also help to relieve itching associated with eczema. In some cases, allergy testing may be recommended to identify potential triggers for the condition.
Living with chronic eczema can be difficult, but there are ways to manage the condition and reduce its symptoms. Talk to a doctor if you have trouble controlling your eczema or if your symptoms have worsened. With the right treatment plan, it is possible to reduce the itching and pain associated with eczema and improve quality of life.