Eczema is a relatively broad term that refers to a condition of the skin characterized by dryness, redness, itching, and sometimes peeling or blistering. There are many types of eczema, so it is important to seek out the professional input of a dermatologist if you suspect that you or your child may be showing symptoms of eczema. The numerous types of eczema include dyshidrotic eczema, contact dermatitis, hand eczema, neurodermatitis, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis, and the most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis affects nearly 18 million Americans and is characterized by itching, redness, and rash often in patches on the face, arms, and legs. Atopic dermatitis is also commonly associated with allergies and asthma.
The frustrating aspect of suffering from eczema is that its direct causes remain unknown. Dermatologists are able to discover links including allergens, genetics, stress, and seasonal changes, but it is difficult to pinpoint an exact cause. The good news is that common forms of eczema are not contagious. There are many traditional and nontraditional treatments for eczema including topical approaches like cleansers, creams, and oils as well as holistic approaches like meditation and acupressure. To determine the right treatment for you, it is important to speak to a specialist who can diagnose the type of eczema you are experiencing and then choose the approach that feels most appropriate for your lifestyle.