dermatitis, is a chronic condition in which the skin becomes dry,
itchy, inflamed and sometimes even painful. The most common types of
eczema include childhood eczema, also called atopic dermatitis (AD),
hand eczema and contact dermatitis. While no one thing causes eczema,
environmental factors and genetic variations affecting the barrier
function of your skin can greatly influence your risk of developing
this skin condition.
Atopic dermatitis usually appears early in childhood in individuals who are genetically predisposed to it, and improves or resolves by age 12. However, it persists throughout life in some people and occasionally develops in adults. AD most commonly involves localized areas of the body, but in more severe cases can involve much of the body surface and cause intense itching that interferes with everyday life.
Hand eczema often begins with dry, scaly skin which can go on to develop cracks and blisters. There are many causes of hand eczema including underlying atopic dermatitis, frequent hand washing, allergic reactions and exposure to chemical irritants.
Contact dermatitis is eczema that appears when something touching your skin causes an irritant or allergic reaction. Although it may be a challenge, identifying the cause of a contact dermatitis is important so that the offending substance or exposure can be avoided.
There are also other types of eczema including:
Nummular eczema- “coin shaped” or round patches on the body
Neurodermatitis- inflamed patches of skin caused by repeated scratching
Dyshidrotic eczema- eczema with tiny, itchy blisters on the hands and feet
There are effective treatments for all types of eczema such as moisturizing creams, prescription topical creams and ointments, phototherapy with ultraviolet light, and systemic medications. Your dermatologist will evaluate your eczema, discuss your treatment options and help determine the best course of therapy for you.