Eczema is a skin disease that causes inflammation in the skin’s outer barrier. It is a condition that is not contagious. The term eczema or dermatitis, meaning inflammation in the skin, is a collective term used for several skin conditions where the symptoms are similar. Such symptoms may include redness, swelling, dryness, itching, scaling and even blistering. Eczema occurs when the skin comes in contact with substances that irritate the skin or if the skin is dry and cracked. Eczema has become an increasingly common ailment in our society. However, it is still not fully resolved why individuals suffer from eczema. The environment has a huge impact power, as well as one’s heritage.
There are different forms of eczema. All forms of dermatitis are characterized by skin changes including peeling or blistering and itching. Atopic eczema, also called atopic dermatitis is most common among children. In addition to atopic dermatitis there is a non-allergic and allergic form of contact dermatitis, dandruff, eczema and leg dermatitis.
How common is eczema?
Eczema is a skin disease that can affect all age groups. It is stated that around 10% of the Swedish population has been diagnosed with some form of eczema. However, it is difficult to ensure this figure because many individuals self-diagnose themselves. These individuals usually do not seek medical help for the ailments, instead they often carry out treatments from home. Around 20% of all individuals with eczema-like symptoms have a form of eczema disease. There are trends that show that the symptoms of eczema decreases during the summer time and increases again in the fall and winter. This may be due to the climate, where the strong wind combined with cold, dry air, and poor hydration wears more on the skin, causing an imbalance that leads to eczema symptoms.
Most individuals suffer from eczema at some time during their life. Young children are the largest group of eczema patients, and are mainly affected by atopic dermatitis. These eczema tend to decrease with age and sometimes appear later on in life in the form of non-allergic contact dermatitis on the the hands. Atopic eczema is as common amongst women as men. This form of eczema can appear later in life but is not as common as amongst children.
In addition to atopic dermatitis amongst children dandruff dermatitis and non-allergic contact dermatitis is common amongst the population. Women tend to suffer from allergic contact dermatitis in a larger extent than men. This is partly because women come in more contact with nickel through jewelry and detergents.
The most common types of eczema:
• Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis)
•Non-allergic contact dermatitis (irritant dermatitis)
Site updated 2016-01-15