Eczema

What is Eczema

Greek meaning of the word Eczema: "to boil out," Said to have been the name given by ancient  physicians to "any fiery pustule on the skin”

Eczema is an endogenic chronic, recurring itching skin condition with genetic predisposition. This means that the disease is always present, even though flares may come and go. The symptoms of eczema include dry, inflamed skin and intense itching.

Chromosome 11 and 5 predicts the tendency and is part of the atopic syndrome eczema, hay fever, sinusitis, asthma, keratosis pilarus and allergies of ear, nose and throat conjunctivitis and urticaria. Eczema flares happen because the immune cells in an eczema sufferer’s skin overreact to certain triggers. Therefore it is very helpful to identify and avoid exposure to those triggers.

Many people think of eczema as “just a rash” but for millions it is a frustrating, persistent condition that can make their lives miserable. At times, eczema can be so mild that it may not even be noticeable. Often it can be severe enough to keep a person awake. Eczema is not contagious; it cannot be passed from person to person.

These children are frequently staphylococcus aureus carriers, potent super antigenic endotoxin stimulates Th2 cells produce increased interleukin 3, 4 and 5. The Th1 cells also produce interleukin 2 and interferon gamma. Not controlling these staphs prevent healing and resistant eczema is then seen. Triclosan kills these bacteria (Crème Classique soap and Crème Classique cream).

More pronte to: Warts, mollusca, herpes simplex, vaccinia, alopecia areata.

Environmental aggravating factors:

-Scratching                                                                          - Excessive water contact

-Detergents (Handy Andy, Jik etc.)                          -Sand/ dust, dry grass

-Wool and nylon                                                               -Soap/ Bubble bath

-Acids, cement, petrol                                                   -Tension (especially at work)     

Prolonged breast feeding may prevent or suppress attacks:

-Atopic eczema – common in babies face, scalp and limbs

-Seborric eczema – nappy area

-Pityriasis Alba – dry white spots especially after swim, or long exposure in sun. Can outgrow it – 15 to 25 years

Prognosis:

60% Of children will outgrow the condition before 5 – 15 years of age and 85% before 15 – 20 years of age. In adults a chronic hand and foot eczema may develop in later years after outgrowing the childhood phase. Careers exposed to irritants and clamminess like hairdressing, mechanics, labworkers, and builders may be severely affected.

Treatment of eczema:

Wash: wash with a neutral non irritating soap like Crème Classique soap and/or ointment containing Triclosan for the staph super infection.  

Moisturizing:  Anti inflammatory moisturizer cream prevent re-occuring. The top epidermis in atopic skin is dehydrated due to a reduced lipid barrier function of the stratum corneum. Excessive vaporation takes place during drying, minute cracks appear in the epidermis, allowing allergens and bacteria to penetrate. Weeping and oozing is noticed due to spongiosis and leaking of tissue fluid through epidermis. Excessive water contact like swimming absorbs excessive water and reduces the barrier function and evaporation take place, AGGRAVATING THE CONDITION!

Using Crème Classique Ointment BEFORE any water contact. It improves the barrier function of the skin.

Non-cortisone anti-inflammatory creams and ointment: Crème Classique cream or ointment contains Cetomagrocol Chlorocresol as cortisone itself and with the anti-inflammatory effect may be more effective, less damaging and cheaper than full strength ointment. A dilution may be applied for long periods with minimal cortisone detrimental effect.

Alternative to cortisone creams: Coal tar cream is prescribed and may help if cortisone treatment failed

Anti-itch: The older oral sedating H1 anti-histaminis like Phenergan and Aterax are very effective, especially at night.

Narrow Band Ultra-Violet (311nm): This treatment is very effective and remissions for months are noticed with no side effects.

Deka Excilite-µ (308nm): Deka Excilite- is a Monochromatic Excimer Light (MEL@ 308nm) which offers a revolutionary way of treating eczema. MEL@308nm for targeted Phototherapy makes a decisive breakthrough on traditional treatments and methods.

Special Diets

Remember that breast feeding may prevent attacks. Soy may cause allergies in atopic patients. Children with eczema are more likely to have or develop allergies to certain foods (milk, wheat and peanuts) and airborne allergens (dust mites, molds, pet hair). Make sure to pay attention to any allergens that you may have that triggers eczema or make it worse. Consult a Specialist to determine what you are allergic to.

Noticeable symptons of Eczema?

  • An itchy red rash that keeps recurring
  • Dry patchy, bumpy or scaly areas on the skin
  • A family history of hay fever, asthma or eczema

There is no cure for Eczema but there are many products available to provide relief, reduce the redness and help control our Eczema to minimize its impact

Make sure your room is not too warm to avoid sweating while sleeping and don’t let your skin dry out

No electric blankets

For a definite diagnosis of Eczema contact Advanced Dermatology who will recommend the appropriate treatment programme.

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