5 Clear Signs Of Eczema You Must Never Ignore
Almost 10 percent of adults and children in the U.S. are victims of eczema. Even though a majority of the population suffers from this condition, most people do not know what eczema really is.
SO WHAT IS ECZEMA?
Eczema is characterized by the presence of itchy, red patches and dry skin. It can affect any area of the body but the creases of legs and arms are commonly affected. The condition is not contagious but is seen to run in families.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ECZEMA
- Red rash
- Severe itching
- Rough and dry patches
- Burning of the skin
- Skin cracking
WHAT CAUSES ECZEMA?
The exact cause of this condition is still unknown but researchers believe it is caused by your genes and the environment. Children whose parents had eczema or other conditions like hay fever and asthma are at a greater risk of the disease.
Eczema develops when the protective barriers on the skin dry out. The skin protects against external toxins, allergens, and bacteria but when the barrier is disrupted, environmental irritants can enter your body easily.
Skin exposure to products like fragrances, soap, and detergents or allergens like dust and pollen can also trigger the symptoms. Other causes of an eczema flare-up can include anxiety and stress, too dry or cold weather, sand, dust, pollution and wearing synthetic fibers and wool.
Below are 5 sure signs of eczema you must never ignore:
- NOTE THE LOCATION OF DRY, SENSITIVE SKIN
Dry and irritated skin can be caused by several reasons including an allergic reaction to detergents or deodorants. To find out if you have eczema, note the exact location of the body where the irritation occurs.
Eczema occurs in areas like the fold of the arms, wrists, neck and also behind the folds of the knee. If you notice dry skin in these common areas, it is a sign that the skin irritation is not just caused by the sensitivity to perfume or fabric.
- DO YOU HAVE AN “ITCH” THAT Results in RASHES?
Another common symptom of eczema is intense itching but it could also be due to an allergic reaction to a new perfume or body lotion. Well, how can you tell the difference?
As stated earlier, identify the affected area. The biggest sign is whether the itch occurs before or after the appearance of the rash. Eczema is a rash that is itchy because the itch usually precedes the development of the rash. But with other skin issues like contact dermatitis, rashes happen before itching.
- CHECK THE SHAPE OF YOUR BLISTERS OR RASH
Skin that peels and blisters are uncomfortable no matter what causes it. Both poison ivy and eczema can cause blisters. But the difference is the distribution of the blisters across the skin and their shape. If you notice these blisters on places like the surface of the legs and arms, then it is most likely caused by a reaction to the plant rather than eczema.
The shape of the blisters is also very different, with poison ivy the blisters are linear while eczema blisters are merged together and round.
- DO YOU ALSO SUFFER FROM ASTHMA OR HAY FEVER?
People usually confuse red, itchy eczema patches with casual irritation caused by grass, pets, clothing, acne or allergy. An important thing to note is the pattern and duration of the redness caused and the inflammation that comes with it.
As soon as you see inflammation along with severe redness, ask yourself if you have a history of allergies and asthma? If not, then does somebody in the family has it?
Doctors call eczema a part of the triad along with hay fever and asthma so if you suffer from one of those specific conditions with the redness observed in the folds of the skin and flexure areas then it is definitely eczema.
Since these conditions are genetic, it is possible you may have had the same symptoms since you were a child and they might recur over the years.
- THOSE SCALY AREAS COME WITH OTHER SYMPTOMS
Scales can be caused by contact dermatitis and psoriasis, or simply due to the drying of skin. To confirm eczema, check the folds of the skin and if it is itching, notice how often it occurs and also keep a note of the fact if you suffer from hay fever or asthma. You really need to look at the bigger picture.
It is recommended that you visit a healthcare facility or contact your dermatologist using a reliable telemedicine platform to confirm the diagnosis.