Different Types of Eczema, Symptoms, Triggers, + Ways to Manage it!
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a term used to describe a group of conditions that cause skin inflammation, also known as dermatitis.
There are various types of dermatitis. The 7 most common types of dermatitis are:
1. Atopic dermatitis
- Most prevalent type of eczema
- Often begins during childhood
- Possible genetic predisposition
2. Contact dermatitis
- Two types:
- Irritant – occurs after a person comes into contact with a skin irritant (i.e. strong chemical substance or other)
- Allergic – happens when a person comes into contact with a material they’re allergic to (i.e. nickel, poison ivy, cosmetic product)
- Also known as lichen simplex chronicus
- Caused by the habit of repeated scratching in the same area
4. Nummular dermatitis
- More common among men
- Characterized by red coin-shaped marks
5. Stasis dermatitis
- More common among women
- Due to venous insufficiency (poor blood circulation)
6. Seborrheic dermatitis
- Affects areas where sebaceous glands are present
- May be due to yeast overgrowth
- Can cause dandruff
7. Dyshidrotic dermatitis
- Occurs on the hands and feet
- Characterized by eruptions of fluid-filled blisters
Symptoms of Eczema
You may experience a variety of symptoms, depending on the type of eczema you’re suffering from.
Some symptoms you may encounter are:
Itchy Skin – eczema can make your skin extremely itchy and scratching will intensify the itch!
Scaly Skin – your skin may become thickened and scaly in areas where you suffer from eczema.
Redness – skin inflammation causes redness and scratching can worsen the situation!
Cracking – your skin’s inability to retain moisture will cause your skin to crack.
Blistering – certain types of eczema will cause your skin to form blisters.
What Factors Trigger Eczema?
Certain foods are known to trigger eczema flare-ups. Some of these foods are: milk, nuts, eggs, soy, and wheat.
Common allergens may also provoke eczema. Examples are: pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites, poison ivy.
Yeast and fungal overgrowth may trigger dermatitis.
Many products your skin comes into contact with on a daily basis could be the culprit behind your chronic skin condition. Some of these triggers might be: detergent, shampoo, household cleaner.
Climate changes can also affect your skin. Seasonal temperature changes and/or drastic fluctuation in humidity levels can bring about eczema.
A hormonal imbalance or hormone level changes during pregnancy or menstrual cycle can trigger bouts of eczema.
Although stress isn’t a direct trigger, it can intensify your symptoms of eczema.
How to Manage Eczema
While eczema is incurable, there are ways for you to avoid triggers and manage your symptoms.
Tips on Avoiding Triggers and Managing Symptoms:
- Avoid common food triggers. Eliminate dairy, nuts, eggs, soy, & gluten from your diet.
- Avoid drastic temperature changes. Shower in lukewarm water.
- Use a humidifier. A humidifier can replenish moisture into the air and prevent your skin from becoming overly dry.
- Use mild soap and detergent. Avoid products containing perfumes, dyes, and harsh preservatives such as parabens.
- Pat your skin dry. Use a soft towel and delicately dry your body to avoid further skin irritation.
- Moisturize daily. Seal moisture into your skin by applying moisturizer immediately after bathing or showering, while your skin is still damp.
- Wear soft cotton, loose-fitting attire. Avoid tight-fitting clothes or scratchy fiber materials, like wool.