It is a skin condition making the skin dry (even cracked), red and itchy, and it is caused by inflammation of the skin. It is a chronic problem and most common in infants. Persons with eczema are more prone to allergic conditions like hay fever and asthma.
Some people have extra sensitive skin due to certain genes. Another factor is an overactive immune system. Defects in the skin barrier are also thought to contribute to eczema; these defects allow moisture out the skin and permit germs in. The factors triggering eczema include contact with irritating substances like synthetic fabrics, dry & cold climates, stress, heat and sweat.
Eczema makes the skin itch before rash appearance. The symptoms of eczema are represented in patches of thickened, dry, itchy skin usually on the neck, legs, hands and face. However, it can occur anywhere and if scratched, open sores may develop with infections. You better call your doctor in the following cases:
– Developing an itchy rash and having a family history of eczema .
– Your skin inflammation does not respond to treatment within a week, which means you need more aggressive treatment.
– Developing light brown or yellowish crust or even blisters on the eczema patches, indicating a bacterial infection and the need for antibiotic.
– Developing painful and fluid- filled blisters in the eczema areas that could be indication of eczema
herpeticum, which is a serious complication that needs attention. You cannot catch eczema through contact with a person who has it, which means it is not contagious. Moreover, it runs in families; having relatives with eczema, asthma or seasonal allergies is considered a major risk factor. It is noticed that children born to older women more likely develop eczema than those born to younger women, and it is not clear why yet.