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Allergic Skin Disorders

Picture of Eczema

Picture of Eczema

Eczema is a group of itchy, inflammatory skin conditions. Another name for eczema is atopic dermatitis. Eczema may start in infancy or childhood and persist into adulthood. For others, eczema lessens with age. Eczema starts as a cluster of blisters that progresses into a thick, scaly, intensely itchy rash. There are many different types of eczema.

  • Atopic dermatitis is a form of eczema related to the same immune reaction that underlies allergy and asthma (atopic disease). The condition tends to be chronic.
  • Contact dermatitis results when allergens or irritants provoke skin inflammation. Allergens may include plants, pets, and certain foods. Irritants may include chemicals in cleaning products, beauty products, paints, and solvents. Contact with fragrances or certain fabrics may provoke dermatitis.
  • Dyshidrotic dermatitis results in small, fluid-filled blisters that form on the hands and feet. The blisters are intensely itchy.
  • Neurodermatitis (lichen simplex chronicus) is an intensely itchy rash that often occurs on the forearms, thighs, or ankles. The intense discomfort of the rash provokes scratching -- which increases itching -- prompting more scratching.
  • Nummular dermatitis is a coin-shaped scaly patch or sore that may occur after an injury such an insect bite, abrasion, or burn.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis (seborrheic eczema) causes yellow, flaky patches, usually on the scalp.
  • Stasis dermatitis is a rash that occurs on the lower legs when there is a problem circulation of blood and return of blood to the heart.
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Text Reference: "Eczema." National Eczema Association.