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Eczema is a skin condition causing inflammation, dryness and an itch. The condition can appear on any part of the body and can come and go with no notice. It can also be an indicator of other allergy conditions such as Hay Fever or asthma. The skin can become cracked and leathery in many cases. Eczema can be inherited and can cause a great deal of discomfort. Some typical locations of Eczema are the face, elbows, wrists, groin, back of the knees and ankles. The condition can be triggered by a number of things such as excessive heat, sweat, dry skin from the sun or from cold weather conditions, wool and other irritating fabrics and soaps as well as stress.

Causes, Risk Factors and Complications of Eczema

The exact causes behind Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis are currently unknown, though it is likely that a malfunction in the immune system of the body and dry and irritable skin play a role in the process. There are other situations that can exacerbate a problem with Eczema such as stress and emotional disorders, however it has been concluded they arent the causes of the condition. Many experts believe that there is a genetic basis behind Eczema. There are several complications that can occur when Eczema is left untreated. These can include: neurodermatitis, eye complications and skin infections. Eye complications and neurodermatitis can cause permanent damage to the body. This makes it essential to prevent them from occurring by seeking professional medical assistance for Eczema ASAP.

Signs, Symptoms and Tests of Eczema

Signs and symptoms associated with Eczema can include brown, gray or red colored patches on the skin, severe itching which may be worse at night, small and raised bumps, which may crust over or leak fluid when scratched, scaly skin, thickened skin or cracked skin and raw or sensitive skin due to scratching. The most common places for Eczema to appear include: the inner elbow, hands and feet, behind the knees, wrists, ankles, neck, face and the upper chest. Eczema may also appear around the eyes and on the eyelids. When a physician suspects Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema, typically a medical history and a physical examination will suffice for diagnosis. If the physician suspects another possible condition, then additional tests may be necessary such as biopsy of an affected area.

Treatment, Drugs and Prevention of Eczema

The goal of treating Eczema is to reduce the symptoms while preventing the potential for future flare-ups. Reducing inflammation and relieving itching will help to prevent complications from occurring. A physician may recommend lifestyle changes and self-care measures in addition to both over the counter and prescription medications. Some medications a doctor may prescribe for Eczema include: Corticosteroid ointments or creams, oral antihistamines, immunomodulators and injected Corticosteriods. Physicians may also recommend light therapy, known as phototherapy, to treat this condition