Eczema is a chronic skin condition in which the skin becomes itchy, reddened, cracked and dry. It is often referred to as atopic dermatitis (the most common form of Eczema).
Eczema is almost always itchy, no matter where it appears. Sometimes the itching will start before the rash appears. Eczema typically shows itself as patches of chronically itchy, irritated skin, on the hands, neck, chest, face, scalp, and legs, although it can occur on any part of the body. Some patients with facial eczema, may develop symptoms around the eyes and eyelids. Babies tend to show symptoms on the face. Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened or scaly. In fair-skinned people, these areas may initially appear reddish and then turn brown. Among darker-skinned people, eczema can appear darker or lighter, since it affects the pigmentation.
There are different types of eczema depending on their cause and where they occur on the body. The exact cause of eczema is not clearly understood but is thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to irritants, resulting in a rash. Eczema can be brought on by:
- Allergies secondary to digestive disorders
- Genetic metabolic disorders
- Rashes secondary to immune diseases
- Nutritional deficiencies such as Vitamin B, especially Niacin (Vitamin B3 and B6)
Treating Eczema can be difficult. It requires a consistent approach and may take months to show signs of improvement.
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