Eczema, often referred to as atopic dermatitis, is an inflammation of the skin, usually associated with blisters, red bumps, swelling, oozing, scaling, crusting and itching. Eczema typically shows itself as patches of chronically itchy skin on the hands, neck, face and legs, but is not limited to those areas. Coping with the uncomfortable symptoms of eczema is difficult at best, but for those with eczema on the face, it adds another dimension to the condition – a degree of embarrassment that can affect a person’s self-confidence.
Facial eczema is very common in infants and young children – in fact, it is normally the first area affected. These cases typically clear up by adolescence, but they can reappear later in life. For those with adult-onset of eczema on the face, the symptoms can be more severe, making the condition very uncomfortable.
Signs of Eczema on the Face
There are two types of eczema that can affect the face and facial areas:
- Atopic Eczema (the most common form of eczema) – affecting the forehead, cheeks, and eyelids
- Seborrheic Eczema – affecting the scalp, eyebrows, and sometimes the nose
There are basically three primary signs of facial eczema:
- Patches of redness
- Continuous itching
Facial skin is thinner and much more sensitive than most areas on the body. Resisting the urge to scratch is difficult, but scratching will not only damage the skin, it can thicken the skin making the affected areas much more visible and can lead to severe scabbing, skin cracking, and even oozing fluid from affected areas.
Causes of Facial Eczema
Contact with Allergens – Atopic eczema, the most common type of facial eczema, begins when you come in contact with, or ingest, something that your body does not react to in the normal manner. The body responds, causing the skin to get red and itchy, and eventually dries and could crack and seep fluid if not treated. This is your body’s way of telling you that something in your environment does not agree with you.
If you have facial eczema it is possible that you are coming in contact with something that is triggering an allergic reaction, such as soaps, creams, make-up, hairspray, perfume, shampoo, and so on. The causes can be numerous – the first step is to eliminate one product at a time until you identify the offending product or products.
Stress – For those suffering with eczema, too much stress can signal a flare-up or even many flare-ups in a row if the stress is long term. If you have facial eczema, stress will inflame the condition even more. This can lead to a vicious cycle – the more the eczema flares up, the more agitated and stressed you become, the more agitated you become, the more the eczema flares up… and so it goes. Taking measures to calm and minimize stress is easier said than done, but it will reward you with visible changes – calm person = clam skin.
Diet – Food allergies are common among those who suffer from facial eczema. Identifying whether you have food allergies, and what those might be, will go a long way in helping treat and avoid eczema. Again, it is a process of elimination and identifying what triggers your condition. Or, you can visit your dermatologist who can perform an allergy test to identify your specific allergies.
In short, there are many different causes of facial eczema. Finding out what triggers your condition and how to treat it takes time, trial and error. Many people become discouraged with the trial and error process. Use a methodical approach to identifying your triggers and then finding what treatments work best for you, before becoming frustrated and disheartened.