Is you eczema flaring up?

Despite being the most common inflammatory skin condition, eczema is the most confusing skin condition for both patients and their doctors.
Eczema is very difficult to define. To quote United States, Supreme Court Justice Porter Stewart, who once said he could not define pornography, but he knew it when he saw it. This is the case of eczema, a common condition. Best understood through repeatedly seeing it.

Types of eczema

Acute subacute and chronic eczema
These describe where the progression of disease it is.
Acute eczema is more known by itchy red patches with plaques that may become juicy and develop into vesicles. They may also be less florid with no vesicles, but with red itchy skin.

Subacute is more of the in between acute and chronic eczema. This term really doesn’t mean much as you can see both phases with crust. Subacute can become chronic, or can go away with treatment.

Chronic eczema has plaques with thick skin or lichenification, which is more of the skin looking like the bark of a tree. This may show scales with crust that form from chronic scratching and dry skin. Older lesions will show dark pigmentation, or lichens with crust, with either hyper pigmentation of the skin, darker or hypo pigmentation with the lighter skin.

General management

How often a person who has dermatitis should be showering or bathing has been the subject of controversy and misunderstanding for a very long time.
Bathing removes crusts, irritant, potential allergens, and infectious agents.
Bathing, provides pleasure and reduces stress.
Bathing, hydrated skin allows better delivery of medication and moisturizers like factor X.

Moisturizing soaps should be used. Using a non-soap cleanser on parts of the body that are free of lesions is helpful.
Do not use soap on parts of the skin where your eczema is acting up.
Moisturize with high content, antioxidant like factor X immediately after bathing, and avoid excessively toweling and scrubbing.

Topical steroids should be applied only to active and inflamed skin.
Applying steroids immediately after bathing, increases the penetration and potency.
Low potency topical steroids are recommended for use on skin folds.
Remember, there are two causes of eczema, one from the outside, which is contact dermatitis, and the other from inside, which is atopic dermatitis.
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