What is Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)?
Atopic dermatitis, (eczema), is a chronic condition that causes the skin to be dry, itchy, scaly, and red. It may develop at any age, but it is most common in children, especially before the age of five.
What causes Eczema?
The exact cause of eczema is unknown, yet it has a genetic basis. Healthy skin helps retain moisture and protects you from bacteria, irritants and allergens. Eczema is likely related to a mix of factors:
- Dry, irritable skin, which reduces the skin's ability to be an effective barrier.
- A gene variation that affects the skin's barrier function Immune system dysfunction.
- Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, on the skin that creates a film that blocks sweat glands.
- Environmental conditions.
What are the symptoms of Eczema?
Symptoms of eczema include:
- Red patches specially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and, in infants, the face and scalp.
- Severe itching especially at night.
- Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid when scratched.
- Thickened, cracked, or dry scaly skin.
- Inflamed and infected skin from scratching.
What makes Eczema worse?
- Dry skin.
- Long, hot showers.
- Exposure to rapid changes in temperature.
- A dry environment.
- Wearing wool or synthetic fabrics or clothing.
- Living in highly polluted cities.
- Exposure to solvents, soaps, detergents, or perfumes.
- Exposure to cigarette smoke, dust, or sand.
- Food allergies.
What can I do to reduce symptoms at home?
Moisturize your skin at least twice a day: Use a moisturizer all over while your skin is still damp from a bath or shower.Avoid scratching: Cover the itchy area if you can't keep from scratching it. Trim nails and wear gloves at night. Apply cool, wet compresses: Covering the affected area with bandages and dressings helps protect the skin and prevent scratching. Choose mild soaps without dyes or perfumes: Be sure to rinse the soap completely off your body. Use a humidifier. Hot, dry indoor air can parch sensitive skin and worsen itching . Wear cool, smooth-textured cotton clothing: Reduce irritation by avoiding clothing that's rough, tight, scratchy or made from wool. Treat stress and anxiety: Stress and other emotional disorders can worsen atopic dermatitis
How do i know if i have Eczema?
There is no particular test to diagnose eczema. To confirm an eczema diagnosis, the doctor will examine your skin and check your medical history.
What is the treatment of Eczema?
There is no current cure for eczema; however, treatments can decrease the inflammation, relieve the itching, and limit future are-ups. Your doctor will prescribe the best treatment based on your condition. Options include:
- Moisturizing creams that keep your skin well-hydrated.
- Moist dressings are recommended.
- Steroid creams that relieve itching and redness. They should be applied to the skin once or twice every day. Repeated use can cause skin thinning, irritation, and infections. In severe cases, your doctor might prescribe steroid pills for short periods of time.
- Immunosuppressive drugs might be recommended in case of severe eczema which is unresponsive to traditional treatment. These drugs weaken the immune system and might increase your risk for infection.
- Antihistamine pills that relieve severe itching at night and help you sleep.
- Light therapy (phototherapy). It is usually recommended for people whose bodies do not respond to other treatments. Ultraviolet light is used to control the eczema. Long term light therapy might increase a person's risk for skin cancer.
- Antibiotics are adjunctive therapy in case of bacterial skin infection.
Does my Insurance Policy cover Eczema treatment?
Yes. according to CCHI unified Policy terms and conditions, health insurance policies in Saudi Arabia cover treatment for Eczema.Please Click Here to access the Unified CCHI Policy Wordings.
References:"Atopic Dermatitis (eczema)." Diseases and Conditions. N.p., 26 July 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2016.
"Eczema" Rules. N.p., n.d. Web. Aug. 2016.