Eczema


What is it?

Eczema is the collective term for a group of medical conditions afflicting the skin characterized by dry, inflamed skin, sore rashes, and intense itch.

Symptoms

Affected areas are very itchy and inflamed, and may appear very dry and scaly. The affliction is also characterized by red and bumpy rashes and cracking skin. Rashes appear most commonly on the face, back of the knees and elbows, wrists, hands, and feet.

Causes

Eczema symptoms are attributed to the an overactive immune response to an irritant. The affliction may also have a genetic basis as it is commonly found in families with a history of other allergies, and often accompanies asthma and hay fever. Though symptoms are periodic and may disappear for long periods of time, flare-ups may occur when skin comes in contact with irritants (such as detergents, dust, or abrasive clothing) or after exposure to certain environmental conditions (such as overheating, excessive sweating, and low humidity).

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of eczema is based on the presence of the symptoms listed above. Allergy tests may also be conducted in order to identify possible irritants and allergens.

sources: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/atopic-dermatitis-eczema

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eczema/DS00986

 

 

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