Different Types of Eczema
Eczema Treatment Miami
Eczema is a general term for any type of dermatitis or “itchy rash”. There are several skin diseases that are eczemas; a partial list of eczemas includes:
All types of eczemas cause itching and redness and some will blister, weep or peel.
ATOPIC DERMATITIS (AD)
Often the symptoms fade during childhood, though “most” will have AD for life. It is estimated that atopic dermatitis affects over 30 million Americans. It typically affects the insides of the elbows, backs of the knees, and the face but can cover most of the body.
Atopic dermatitis falls into a category of diseases called atopy, a term originally used to describe the allergic conditions asthma and hay fever. Atopic dermatitis was included in the atopy category because it often affects people who either suffer from asthma and/or hay fever or have family members who do, but now have been genetically connected.
Physicians often refer to these three diseases as the “atopy triad”. The disease by its very nature can be episodic. People with atopic dermatitis tend to have high staph levels on their skin, although atopic dermatitis is not infectious to other people.
CONTACT DERMATITIS (ALLERGIC OR IRRITANT)
Common irritants include solvents, industrial chemicals, detergents, fumes, tobacco smoke, paints, bleach, woolen fabrics, acidic foods, astringents, and other alcohol (excluding cetyl alcohol) containing skincare products, and some soaps and fragrances.
Allergens are usually animal or vegetable proteins from foods, pollens, or pets. Contact dermatitis is most often seen around the hands or parts of the body that touched the irritant/allergen.
DYSHIDROTIC DERMATITIS (POMPHOLYX)
NUMMULAR DERMATITIS (DISCOID)
MANAGEMENT OF ECZEMA
DO I WANT TO USE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS OR OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS?
Regular use of these products may reduce the frequency of flare-ups. Prescription medicines, by contrast, are usually much more powerful in providing some relief of the symptoms. They are closely regulated in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are approved for use in treating a specific disease only after they have demonstrated effectiveness and safety.
No prescription drug is free of side effects, and FDA approval is given to drugs with the understanding that they must be used with caution to avoid the negative effects which could result in something worse than the disease itself. Consequently, these drugs must be administered under the watchful eye of a licensed prescriber-a doctor, or in some states, a nurse practitioner.
WHAT ARE FDA-APPROVED PRESCRIPTION THERAPIES?
At this time there are two FDA-approved non-steroid drugs: tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. Topical anesthetics, antibiotics, antihistamines, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory drugs are available in creams, gels, ointments, lotions, and solutions. Most of these classes of drugs can also be administered orally.
WHAT ABOUT ALTERNATIVE OR COMPLEMENTARY MEDICATION?
ARE THERE PLANTS AND VEGETABLES TO AVOID?
Citric fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges may cause phototoxicity problems. You can get a severe rash from contact with a mango rind.
The saps of certain trees are also phototoxic. Daisies (member of a family which includes dandelions, artichokes, chrysanthemum, sunflowers, and yarrow) contain a variety of allergens called sesquiterpene lactones in their stems, leaves, and flowers. If handled, they can produce a localized rash, and they (particularly dried ragweed) may also cause airborne contact dermatitis.
Tulips contain an allergen called tuliposideA that often causes a fissured, fingertip dermatitis called “tulip fingers”. Poinsettias are also very irritating mostly because of a sticky sap it exudes. Handle all plants diligently (or with latex-free gloves).