Thursday, September 24, 2009

Types of eczema

Contact eczema

Contact eczema (contact dermatitis) is broadly used term for irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. The contact dermatitis is a localized reaction on the skin due to the direct contact with the allergen. Type of reaction depends on the nature of the allergen, like alkali/acid induces toxic effects on the skin and produces irritant contact dermatitis, when allergen induces sensitization (produces memory cells) in the boy and produces allergic reaction in the subsequent contact, it is regarded as allergic contact dermatiti .

Irritant contact dermatitis is characterized by erythema, edema, redness, itching, burning sensation , papules , vesicles & oozing at the site of contact . Irritant contact eczema (irritant contact dermatitis) are due to direct toxic effect of the allergen on the skin . The common irritant allergens are poison ivy and poison sumac.

Allergic contact eczema (allergic contact dermatitis) occurs in an individual who has previously sensitized, following an exposure to the allergen. It takes about 5-7 days for a individual to develop sensitivity, however it may take months and years to develop sensitivity in some. After the individual has developed sensitivity to the allergen, in the subsequent exposure to the allergen, skin reaction develops in the form of erythema, edema, itching and papules. Allergic contact eczema is commonly cause by laundry detergents, nickel (present in jewelry), cosmetics, fabrics, clothing, and perfume.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic form of eczema characterized by itchy, edema, population , vesicle formation. It is believed to be due to abnormal function of the body's immune system. Like all eczema, it has remission and relapsing course. This disease starts as early as 3-4 months of life. However the disease can start at any age. In infancy it may confine to cheeks and extensors of the leg(shine), in childhood(by 18-24months)it remains to both flexures and extensors. In adult it remains confine to the flexures. In a rare occasion it becomes so extensive that it covers the entire body. And it tends to run in families, either as asthma or hay fever. Eczema may resolve spontaneously in majority of cases in few months and years. In some it tends to recur throughout life.

Seborrheic eczema

Seborrheic eczema (seborrheic dermatitis) is an inflammatory condition of skin, cause is unknown, but it is possibly believed to be due to Pityrosporum ovale. The signs and symptoms of seborrheic eczema are yellowish, & greasy, scales present in patches on the scalp, nasolabial fold, post auricular area, inter scapular area, and “V” area of the chest, and rarely on the other parts of the body. In infants it presents as "cradle cap" which is due to passively transmitted hormone from mother to baby before birth, it subsides spontaneously over 12-16 weeks. In adult it may present as Dandruff, which is due to excessive secretion of sebum from the sebaceous gland, which is responsible for producing suitable environment for the skin commensal Pityrosporum ovale to colonize. In the immunocompromized individual there is increased colonization of the p.ovale and often its regarded as the cutaneous marker of AIDS.

Nummular eczema

Nummular eczema (nummular dermatitis) is characterized by coin-shaped patches of eczema on the skin located on the arms, back, buttocks, and lower leg. It is characterized by papule, vesicle, oozing, crusting , scaling, and itching. Nummular eczema is usually a chronic condition. And it’s associated with personal or family history of atopic dermatitis, asthma, or hay fever.

Neurodermatitis/Lichen simplex chronicus

Neurodermatitis is also known as lichen simplex chronicus, a chronic skin inflammatory condition, characterized by the changes due to constant scratching, like thickening, pigmentation and increased skin marking. Women are more commonly affected than men, and the condition is most frequent in people aged 20-50years.

Stasis dermatitis

Stasis dermatitis is related to the circulatory problem known as venous insufficiency, in which the function of the valves within the veins has been compromised, because of this there is constant stasis & local changes on the skin. It occurs almost exclusively in middle-aged and elderly people. The risk of developing stasis dermatitis increases with advancing age and prolonged standing. Symptoms include itching and/or reddish-brown discoloration of the skin on one or both legs, later the condition can lead to the edema, vesiculation, oozing and ulceration at the site. Stasis dermatitis has also been referred to as varicose eczema as veins are tortuous and dilated .

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