Eczema is a common reference to intense dry, flaky skin which can eventually lead to dermatitis, and which still holds weight under the general term of eczema. The term ‘atopic’ is defined as a tendency to suffer from a group of conditions; including eczema, asthma and hay fever, and atopic eczema the itchy inflammation of the skin which causes a red or scaly rash. This can also be referred to as atopic dermatitis, and it is believed that the atopical condition is what would make a person more sensitive to the environment and suffer from such ailments.
Dermatitis means ‘inflammation of the skin’, and there many types that fall under the definition of eczema, an allergic tendency can create a greater surety of acquiring one of these types of skin disorder. Although it may be nice to think of atopic eczema as being the only condition to be received by inherited sensitivity, there are many cases where sufferers have such similarly genetic predispositions to hay fever and asthma, and it might not be so simply an allergic reaction. Some of the symptoms to which dermatitis or eczema can be linked are common, and may not necessarily lead to these conditions.
The first noticeable symptom may be dry skin, and is the most common beginning for these conditions, however, the skin could then become red and inflamed. The most common areas for this are next to skin creases, such as the front of the elbows and backs of the knees, and even the wrists and around the neck can become so afflicted. Any area of the skin may be affected, and though itchy, intense scratching can make the skin thicken. If scratched a lot, the affected patches of skin can become cracked and weepy, or that is to say the scratching can lead to open sores that could become infected.
It is at this point that a person may want to see a dermatologist to further understand their condition, and who might be able to diagnose with accuracy what the condition may lead to if left untreated, possibly even prescribing some kind of medication or cream to help reduce and heal the inflammation. As some areas tend to flare-up, there are many kinds of treatments to go with, and a couple common variations are topical preparations and oral medications. The first is usually a cream or ointment applied to the affected area directly, and the latter might be something akin to antibiotics.
In much milder cases, flare-ups can one or two small patches of inflammation, and commonly occur near those skin creases mentioned earlier, like the wrists, knees and elbows. In severe cases, these ‘flare-ups’ can last several weeks or more depending upon earlier conditions, and the treatment of said particular ailments, covering many areas of the skin and causing great distress in those afflicted. Most people with eczema ride the balance between these two extremes, and with help from a licensed physician or dermatologist, most conditions can be treated.