Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What is eczema...

The meaning of the word “eczema” can cause confusion. Many people use this word to refer to a common skin condition called atopic dermatitis. 
The exact cause of other types of eczema is not fully understood One type of eczema, irritant contact dermatitis, develops after frequent exposure to a mild irritant such as a detergent or brief exposure to a strong irritant such as battery acid. Another type, allergic contact dermatitis develops when an allergen (substance to which a person is allergic) touches the skin.
Before prescribing a treatment plan, a dermatologist considers the type of eczema, extent and severity of the eczema, patient’s medical history, and a number of other factors. Medication and other therapies will be prescribed as needed to:
  • Control itching
  • Reduce skin inflammation
  • Clear infection
  • Loosen and remove scaly lesions
  • Reduce new lesions
    The type of medication prescribed will depend on many factors, including the type of eczema, past treatment, and the patient’s preference. Topical (applied to the skin) medication is frequently prescribed. If the eczema is more severe, phototherapy (a type of treatment that uses light therapy) or systemic (circulates throughout the body) medication may be prescribed. 

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