Eczema

eczema in babies

Last Updated February 21st, 2019

Overview of eczema

Environmental pollution has detrimental effects on different parts of the human body, especially the skin. Skin is the most sensitive part of the body that gets easily damaged due to seasonal changes, climatic variations and physiological reactions within the body. These factors can collectively give rise to serious skin disorders. One of the potential threats to healthy skin is “Eczema”, which affects millions of people all over the world. Incidences of skin diseases are more prevalent in underdeveloped countries having poor hygienic conditions. This has driven the health units in all countries to spread mass awareness related to healthy lifestyle in order to address the problem and curb the occurrence of epidemic outbreaks.

 

What is eczema?

eczema in babiesEczema is a severe form of skin disorder in which the skin surface becomes rough and inflamed with the formation of reddish, fluid filled and itchy blisters which cause a lot of pain on scratching or rubbing.

Even after complete recovery, the blisters may leave permanent painful scars on the body.

This disease is not only limited to the adult population, but is also affecting children and infants at present.

Recent research findings (by World Health Organization) show that nearly 80-90% cases of Eczema are diagnosed by the age of 5. It is one of the most severe forms of skin diseases that might lead to skin cancer or carcinoma ,if  left undiagnosed.

 

What causes eczema?

A number of etiological factors are responsible for eczema in both children and adults. These are elaborated below-

  • Extremely dry skin with occasional white flakes (dead cells)
  • Loss of immune capacity of skin
  • Bacterial infection (mainly by Staphylococcus species)
  • Blockage of sweat glands and ducts due to accumulation of excess waste (dead cells and dirt) on the skin pores.
  • Prolonged unprotected exposure to harmful radiations (U.V rays of sun or radiations used during chemotherapy)
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals present in the environment (Eg: Lead, mercury)
  • Allergic response to certain irritants such as pollen grains, animal danders
  • Release of toxic chemicals (cytokines, histamine) in the bloodstream due to some existing diseases
  • Certain medications such as diuretics (for high blood pressure) or corticosteroids
  • Mental or physical stress
  • Exposure to frequent change of temperature or climatic conditions (from hot to cold climate)
  • Hormonal imbalance during puberty, pregnancy or menopause (drop in oestrogen level)
  • Use of greasy cosmetics or ointments
  • Diet deficient in essential vitamins (Vitamin C, D) and iron
  • Frequent use of hard soaps
  • Existing skin disorders
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco
  • Bathing regularly with very hot water
  • Sharing items used by a skin disease patient (towels, bed sheets)

 

What are the main warning signs and symptoms?

Eczema manifests itself through some prominent symptoms which should be addressed immediately to facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment. The eruptions are spread all over the neck, elbows, behind ears, palm and sole of feet. The main symptoms of Eczema are as follows-

  • Reddish patches over large areas of the skin
  • Reddish or brownish elevated, crusty papules
  • Constant itching of the skin (pruritis)
  • Fluid-filled blisters or vesicles which release pus on pricking
  • Dry whitish flakes (dead cells) which worsen on scratching
  • Acute inflammation of the skin in the infected areas.
  • Leathery texture of the skin in advanced stages
  • Extreme tenderness and touch sensitivity of the skin
  • Appearance of cracks and fissures on the skin surface
  • Burning sensation of the skin, especially when touched

What are the different types of eczema?

Based on etiological factors, eczema can be classified into two broad categories –

Idiopathic: In this case, the specific cause of Eczema cannot be determined. Hence this type of Eczema will be categorized into 3 subtypes depending on the degree of infection. These are-

Acute: It is usually benign in nature and can be accompanied by edema (excess fluid in tissues), erythema (dilatation of blood vessels) and vesicles (tiny fluid-filled blisters).

 

Subacute: In this case oedema and erythema are observed. It is also accompanied by Acanthosis (thick and rough skin texture) and Parakeratosis.

Chronic: It occurs when acute Eczema persists for more than one week and is characterized by lichen (big lesions) formation.

Eczema with an identified cause

This type of eczema can be identified by the exact pathogenesis and are of the following subtypes-

Contact: It is caused due to contact with specific allergens and appears as giant reddish patches and lesions.

Atopic: It is characterized by severe skin inflammation, scale formation and secretion of fluid from blisters.

Seborrheic: Yellowish greasy patches appear on the skin in this condition.

Nummular: Large, round and crusty spots are visible on the skin which causes intense itching.

Dishydrotic: It causes irritation of the skin of palms and soles of feet which bear itchy and burning blisters.

 

Genetics of Eczema

Studies by research groups on dermatology and skin diseases show that a person having a family history of skin diseases is 3 times more likely to develop skin ailments in his lifetime.

For example, Ichthyosis is a skin disorder similar to eczema, characterized by thickened and leathery skin which occurs when a person has a family history of skin diseases.

 

Diagnosis

In case of any kind of skin disease, diagnosis is performed by either a dermatologist or an allergist. Different skin tests are performed among which the most important is the RAST (Radioallergosorbent test).

 

Treatment & Prevention

There is no definite cure for eczema.  But there are certain measures which can help in diminishing symptoms and controlling flare ups. Topical corticosteroids, in the form of ointments and lotions, can help reduce itchiness and inflammation of the skin.  If there is a bacterial outbreak along the breaks in the skin, antibiotics can help treat the secondary infections. Additionally anti-fungal creams might also be helpful. If the itching is too much and is causing troubled sleep, antihistamines can be prescribed that will not only reduce the itching sensation, but will also help in getting better sleep.

One should avoid environmental irritants such as scented soaps and bubble baths, wool, nylon, sand, grass etc to prevent inflammation of the dry skin. Common indoor allergens such as dust and dust mites, pollens, animal hair and dander, foods that might cause allergies (Shellfish or nuts) can also cause eczema. This skin condition worsens with heat, so it is important to refrain from hot baths, electric blankets, or in general hot climate. Use unscented soaps and moisturizers to prevent dryness and itching. In severe cases of eczema, immunosuppressant medications might be prescribed.  Refrain from self-medication.

Low FODMAP diet for eczema

Consumption of short-chained carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in a wide range of foods are called FODMAPs. Here the foods in high FODMAP, if consumed in a large quantity get fermented by the gut bacteria repeatedly and cause problems such as gas, bloating, pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

FODMAPs can be broken down into

F – Fermentable.

O – Oligosaccharides. These include fructans and galactic.

D – Disaccharides. These include lactose.

M – Monosaccharides. These include fructose.

A – and

P – Polysaccharides. These include sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol.

Dairy products such as cream cheese, buttermilk, cream, cow’s milk etc, nuts such as cashews, and sweeteners such as cakes, cookies, pastries etc. may increase the symptoms of eczema. Foods such as fish, broccoli, kale, spinach, eggs etc. can help in reducing the symptoms of eczema.Following a low FODMAP diet, can help in reducing inflammation, promote gut health, and make the immune system strong, thereby managing the symptoms of eczema.

Despite arduous research works done on skin diseases till date, there is no complete cure for Eczema, although partial healing can be ascertained. Incidences of Eczema have increased by 3 times since the 1960s (source: Academic Unit of Dermatology Research, University of Sheffield). Nearly 85% of children develop Eczema before the age of 5 years. This is severely affecting the socio-economic backbone of all nations and should be addressed immediately.

 

Facts

  • Eczema is a commonly occurring skin condition affecting around 30 million Americans. It is found in 20% of children and 3% of adults worldwide.
  • Children and young adults with atopic eczema have also shown similar patterns in food-allergies.

Facts

  • Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema prevalent in over 20 million people in the USA alone.
  • If both the parents have eczema, the chances of the off-spring developing this condition are as high as 80%.

Facts

  • Tobacco smoking or consumption is a significant external irritant causing eczema.
  • In some people, the flaring up of eczema can lead to missing out on school/work and hampering of day-to-day activities.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • To get relief from intense itching use non-medicated petroleum jelly on the affected area.
  • Make sure that your skin doesn’t get dry. Use moisturizers and drink plenty of water.
  • Instead of usual bath soaps and body washes, use unscented soaps which tend not to irritate the skin.
Don'ts
  • Scratch the skin with pointed things like nails, these may lead to cuts and abrasions and invite secondary infections.
  • Processed foods such as refined flour, sugar, fried items, and junk.
  • Scrub or exfoliate the affected skin area.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing sexual act. Learn…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the female clitoris to…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a separate organ.  Can…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How is it linked…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis pump. It is…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
CBC blood test
CBC blood test CBC blood test refers to the complete blood count test that measures the number of RBCs, WBCs, etc…
Organic Foods: Is the popularity of pesticide-free food justified? What does the term "organic" really means? And why are organic foods credited as being healthier than normal…
calories healthy
Calories: How to keep a check on these for faster weight loss Did you know you can burn calories while sleeping? Calorie-burning is what causes weight loss. How much should…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that is flexible enough…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best way to please…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and also development of…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How you can use…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less painful and ooze…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something as slimy as…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin. Find easy and…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep going in vain?…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
Cottage cheese: What can you find in this healthy chunk of fresh milk cheese? Love cheese but scared of putting on extra pounds? With cottage cheese, you can get the best of…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes, environmental circumstances, etc.
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk of cancer, and…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well. What you must…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You will never believe…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
Vitamin D foods: Know what to eat for stronger bones and a cancer-free body Foods with vitamin D can actuallly transform your health. Observe fewer body aches, high energy, stronger brains, and…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each spoonful you are…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does our poop turn…
Silicon Dioxide: How can a component of sand be essential to your wellbeing? Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the nature. Find out how silicon dioxide can prove…
What is the eustachian tube and how does it help you maintain body balance? Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the three important functions…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an inexplicable emotional numbness…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute available today,even vegans…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream to the affected…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did you know how…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However, how much fluoride…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the dream food that…
low carb diet meal
Low carb diet : Go high on fats and low on carbs for a leaner body! Did you know that sugar is the new fat? Going low on carbs and high on fats &…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing tips to get…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
Electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush: Who wins the dental war? Manual brushes are ideal for kids as it is important to start slowly unlike the electric brushes which…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can second-hand smoking kill…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron is one of…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
Aloe Vera: The amazing things you can do with this antioxidant-rich gel Aloe vera, a sticky gel-like substance obtained from a cactus-like succulent plant, holds within it the potential to…
RHABDOMYOLYSIS muscle cramps
The hidden dangers of magnesium deficiency and how you can prevent it Magnesium is an essential mineral for the body.Its deficiency can cause harm to your vital organs. Find out…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens such as extensive…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure countless ailments and…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar from the flowers…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo cereal from Peru,…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of health benefits. Discover…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Which means…
Aphrodisiacs
Aphrodisiacs: These are the best foods to get you in the right mood While wine and chocolates have forever been associated with romance, there are several other aphrodisiac foods that can…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
lose pregnancy weight
5 most effective ways you can lose those pregnancy pounds! Are you looking for ways to get back into shape? Scared of crash diets? Don't let your post-pregnancy…