Eczema is used as a general term for many types of skin inflammation (dermatitis) and allergic-type skin rashes. There are different types of eczema, including allergic, contact, irritant, and nummular eczema. Several other forms have very similar symptoms. The diverse types of eczema are listed and briefly described below. Atopic dermatitis is typically a more specific set of three associated conditions occurring in the same person including eczema, allergies, and asthma. Not every component has to be present at the same time, but usually, these patients are prone to all of these three related conditions.
Types of eczema
- Contact eczema: a localized reaction that includes redness, itching, and burning where the skin has come into contact with an allergen (an allergy-causing substance) or with an irritant such as an irritating acid, a cleaning agent, or other chemical
- Allergic contact eczema: a red, itchy, weepy reaction where the skin has come into contact with a substance that the immune system recognizes as foreign, such as poison ivy or certain preservatives in creams and lotions
- Seborrheic eczema (also called seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea): is a very common form of mild skin inflammation of unknown cause that presents as yellowish, oily, scaly patches of skin on the scalp, face, ears, and occasionally other parts of the body. Often this is also called dandruff in adults or "cradle cap" in infants.
- Nummular eczema: coin-shaped (round), isolated patches of irritated skin -- most< obr> commonly on the arms, back, buttocks, and lower legs -- that< obr> may be crusted, scaling, and extremely itchy
- Neurodermatitis: a very particular type of dermatitis where the person frequently picks at their skin, causing rashes. The underling cause may be a sensitivity or irritation which sets off a cascade of repeated itching and scratching cycles. It may be seen as scratch marks and pick marks on the skin. Sometimes scaly patches of skin on the head, lower legs, wrists, or forearms caused by a localized itch (such as an insect bite) may become intensely irritated when scratched.
- Stasis dermatitis: a skin irritation on the lower legs, generally related to circulatory problems and congestion of the leg veins. It may have a darker pigmentation, light-brown, or purplish-red discoloration from the congestion and back up of the blood in the leg veins. It's sometimes seen more in legs with varicose veins.
- Dyshidrotic eczema: irritation of the skin on the palms of hands (mostly) and less commonly soles of the feet characterized by clear, very deep-seated blisters that itch and burn. It's sometimes described as a "tapioca pudding"-like rash on the palms.
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