WHAT IS ECZEMA AND DERMATITIS?
Most people don't realise that eczema and dermatitis are names used to describe the same conditions and will affect one in five people at some stage in their lives.
There are different types of eczema/dermatitis and different things may trigger it meaning you may need help from a professional to bring it under control. Eczema/dermatitis can look different in different people but it is common for it to present as reddened, dry, scaly skin. Occasionally small bumps or blisters occur. Eczema is not infectious but may become infected so needs to be treated properly. It is an extremely itchy condition that can cause the sufferer great discomfort. The condition can flare and subside for no apparent reason, but some common causes and triggers are:
- Psychological stress
- Contact with certain triggers such as water, chemicals or detergents
- Contact with substances that the person is allergic to such as nickel, perfume or preservatives
Atopic eczema/dermatitis is the most common form of eczema affecting Australians, it is seen to belong to a group of conditions, commonly inherited, the others being asthma and hay fever. Atopic eczema occurs in all age groups; however it often has its onset in babies between 2 - 6 months of age. Atopic eczema often improves with age and is found most commonly behind the knees, inside the elbows, around the ankles, behind the ears and on the eyelids, however it can be present on other parts of the body.
HOW TO MANAGE ECZEMA AND DERMATITIS?
Because there are so many variants of this condition you may require help from a professional to ensure it is correctly managed. An individual's treatment plan will depend upon the severity of their condition and other factors such as known triggers. A treatment plan may include medication as well as recommendations for appropriate bathing and skin care products. You should also receive practical advice on long term management and how to avoid flares in the condition.