6 Types Of Eczema – And Why You Need To Know The Difference!

6 Types Of Eczema – And Why You Need To Know The Difference!

 

Types Of Eczema

 

Introduction 

        Eczema. It can be displayed in varying ways and forms. With this being said, do you know all about them? Better yet, do you know what all of them are or if you may be experiencing symptoms? The following article goes into depth about the different types of eczema, their symptoms, prevention tactics, as well as their treatments.

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1. Atopic Dermatitis

          Atopic Dermatitis most commonly develops in earlier stages of childhood and is most commonly passed down genetically. Symptoms typically consist of the following: 

  1. Dry skin 
  2. Itching 
  3. Red or brownish-gray patches on the skin 
  4. Small, raised bumps 
  5. Thickened, cracked, or scaly skin 
  6. Raw sensitive swollen skin due to scratching 

 

These symptoms are caused because of the skin’s inability to provide protection the skin is naturally supposed to. This includes retaining moisture and protecting the skin from bacteria, irritants and allergens. Although this may seem like something that cannot be controlled, there are in fact ways to try and prevent and or maintain the skin if you or your child has atopic dermatitis. These prevention tactics include the following: 

 

  1. Moisturizing the skin at least twice a day 
  2. Identifying and avoiding triggers 
  3. Taking short(er) baths and or showers 
  4. Taking bleach baths 
  5. Using gentle soaps 
  6. Drying yourself carefully 

Types of Eczema

Taking these measures cannot promise life without atopic dermatitis but it can ensure a more bearable lifestyle if you or your child has it as well as attempt to prevent it. Although there are several things to do in attempts to prevent and maintain atopic dermatitis, if symptoms are left untaken care of for too long, complications including asthma and hay fever, chronic itchy, scaly skin, skin infections, irritant hand dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, and sleep problems may occur. It is very important to monitor yourself and or your child very closely if they have this condition.

2. Contact Dermatitis

           Contact Dermatitis is a skin rash caused by contact with a specific substance. This said substance can cause irritation to the skin or cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms typically consist of a red rash, itching, dry, cracked, and scaly skin, bumps, blisters, and swelling, burning and or tenderness to the skin. These symptoms are caused by substances the skin is exposed to that cause irritation triggering an allergic reaction. If the reaction is very severe, it can potentially cause irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. The most common irritants include solvents, rubbing alcohol, bleach and detergents,shampoos, permanent wave solutions, airborne substances, such as sawdustor wool dust plants, and fertilizers and pesticides. Just like there are common irritants, there are common allergens which include the following: 

 

  1. Nickel 
  2. Medications 
  3. Balsam 
  4. Formaldehyde 
  5. Personal care products 
  6. Plants 
  7. Airborne substances 
  8. Products that cause a reaction when you’re in the sun

Types of Eczema - By: OurEczemaStory.com

Although this may seem like something that cannot be controlled, there are in fact ways to try and prevent and or maintain the skin if you or your child has contact dermatitis. These prevention tactics include the following:

  1. Avoiding irritants and allergens 
  2. Washing your skin 
  3. Wearing protective clothing or gloves 
  4. Applying an iron-on patch to cover metal fasteners next to your skin 
  5. Applying a barrier cream or gel 
  6. Using moisturizer 
  7. Taking care of skin around pets

Types of Eczema - By: OurEczemaStory.com

Although there are several things to do in attempts to prevent and maintain contact dermatitis, complications such as infections can arise if one lets it go untreated for too long. Such complications are more prone to be seen in people who have the following occupations: 

 

  1. Healthcare and dental employees
  2. Metalworkers 
  3. Construction workers 
  4. Hairdressers and cosmetologists 
  5. Auto mechanics 
  6. Scuba divers/swimmers (the rubber in the face masks or goggles) 
  7. Cleaners 
  8. Gardeners and agriculture workers 
  9. Cooks or those who work with food in general 

 

If you have Contact Dermatitis and you have any of the aforementioned jobs, you must ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself as best as you can to avoid any infections and discomfort.

3. Dyshidrotic Eczema

       Dyshidrotic Eczema is a common form of eczema which causes small itchy blisters on the edges of various body parts like the fingers, toes, palms, and soles of the feet. Symptoms typically include deep blisters on the edges of fingers, toes, palms and the soles of the feet, itching, redness, flaking, scaly and or cracked skin, and pain. Dyshidrotic Eczema normally appears in adults at the age of 20 up to age 40. Although this may be the case, it is possible for children to have as well. Like any form of eczema, there are common triggers for dyshidrotic eczema. Some of these triggers include the following: 

  1. Stress 
  2. Pollen 
  3. Moist hands and feet 
  4. Nickel  found in jewelry and foods
    1. Cocoa 
    2. Chocolate 
    3. Soy beans 
    4. Oatmeal 
    5. Nuts 
    6. Almonds 
    7. Fresh and dried legumes 
    8. Canned food 
  5. Cobalt in everyday objects and foods 
    1. Clams 
    2. Fish 
    3. Leafy green vegetables 
    4. Liver 
    5. Milk 
    6. Nuts  
    7. Oysters 
    8. Red meat 
  6. Chromium 

Types of Eczema - By: OurEczemaStory.com

Despite the fact that it may appear as though living life with dyshidrotic eczema may seem quite hard, there are certain things that can be done to make having and living with it a lot more comfortable. Some prevention and manageability tactics that once can practice consist of the following: 

 

  1. Washing the affected area of skin with a mild cleanser 
  2. Removing rings and other jewelry when washing hands 
  3. Moisturize after washing or immersing your hands and or feet 
  4. Moisturizing frequently during the day when skin starts to feel dry 
  5. Washing your hands and or feet immediately after touching a potential trigger 
  6. Learning ways to manage stress 
  7. Avoid quick changes if possible to control 
  8. Keep nails cut short 

Types of Eczema - By: OurEczemaStory.com

Taking these measures cannot promise a life without dyshidrotic eczema, but these are some measures that can be taken to make having this form of eczema more manageable on a day to day basis.

4. Nummular Eczema

Nummular Eczema can be seen in any age group. This is the one form of eczema that can appear differently than other forms which leaves it to be difficult to treat. Symptoms typically consist of the following: 

 

  1. Coin-shaped lesions on arms, legs, hands/torso 
  2. Itching and burning 
  3. Lesions that are oozing liquid or have crusted over 
  4. Red, pinkish or brown, scaly and inflamed skin around the lesions 

Although this form of eczema is difficult to treat, similar triggers have been observed in several people who have this form of eczema. Some of these similar triggers include the following: 

 

  1. Damage to the skin resulting from: 
    1. Insect bites 
    2. Scrapes 
    3. Scratches  
    4. Chemical burns  
  2. Reaction to inflammation 
  3. Dry skin especially during the winter 
  4. Metals like nickel 
  5. Topical medications 
    1. Topical antibiotic creams 
    2. Isotretinoin and interferon

Types of Eczema - By: OurEczemaStory.com

This form of eczema is difficult to treat but creams are the most common form of treatment. Typically one is given a prescription for a steroid medication to decrease the level of inflammation. Mild and moderately-potent steroids aren’t normally prescribed because they don’t work as well as the stronger steroid creams. These stronger steroid creams are used because under the correct and proper treatment using this medication, it usually goes away completely. Steroids are not always necessary for this particular type of eczema. Some doctors may prescribe phototherapy, coal tar creams and or non-corticosteroid medications depending on the severity of the Nummular Eczema. It is key for someone with this type of eczema to be extra careful about how they treat this condition and to always consult their doctor before applying any form of medication.

5. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a very common skin condition that affects the scalp. It can potentially cause scaly patches, red skin and very stubborn dandruff in the scalp. Treatment isn’t always necessary for this eczema type and can potentially go away on its own. With the same potential seborrheic dermatitis has of going away, it also has the ability to come back. It is recommended to use a gentle shampoo that works specifically for those who have this form of eczema.

Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis include the following: 

  1. Skin flakes on the scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard or mustache 
  2. Patches of greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales
  3. Red skin 
  4. Itching  

Types of Eczema - By: OurEczemaStory.com

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a form of eczema is typically caused by a specific type of fungus called Malassezia which is a component of the oil secretion on the skin as well as an irregular response of the immune system. This condition most commonly develops in those who have neurologic and psychiatric conditions, a weakened immune system, and or have recently recovered from a stressful medical condition. For people this applies to, it is best to consult with your doctor regarding the best treatment options for you in particular.

6. Stasis Dermatitis 

Stasis Dermatitis causes inflammation, ulcers, and itchy skin on the lower legs. It generally develops in people who have conditions that result in poor blood flow to the legs. Some of these conditions include the following: 

 

  1. DVT 
  2. Varicose veins  
  3. Enlarged and swollen veins 
  4. Injury to the lower leg 
  5. Any surgery that affects the veins in the lower leg 
  6. Congestive heart failure 

Types of Eczema - OurEczemaStory

Symptoms of Stasis Dermatitis

Symptoms of Stasis Dermatitis vary but the most common symptoms are those of any other form of eczema; irritated skin and red, itchy or swollen skin. If this condition progresses however, symptoms can become worse. These symptoms include swelling (which spreads to the calves), red/purple ulcers, shiny/swollen skin, and itchy/dry and cracked skin. With any condition, risks are always involved. In regards to Stasis Dermatitis, these factors include: 

 

  1. Being over 50 years old 
  2. Being overweight/obese 
  3. Having any condition that affects blood circulation 
  4. Having kidney disease 
  5. Giving birth 
  6. Standing or sitting for extended periods of time 
  7. Getting insufficient exercise

Types of Eczema - OurEczemaStory

Treating Stasis Dermatitis

Treating this condition consists of relieving the symptoms listed above. Depending on the doctor as well as the severity of this eczema, treatment protocol may be different. The most standard forms of treatment consists of: 

 

  1. Wearing compression stockings to provide circulation and relieve swelling 
  2. Sleeping with legs elevated 
  3. Elevating the legs for 15 minutes every two hours 
  4. Taking medications to decrease the level of pain  
  5. Using antihistamines to stop itching 
  6. Antibiotics 
  7. Using emollients as a moisturizer to protect the skin 

In some cases, one can suffer complications while having Stasis Dermatitis even while taking necessary measures to get better. Complications consist of chronic leg ulcers, leg wounds that fail to heal, abscesses, cellulitis, and infected bone. To decrease the likelihood of getting this condition, one can exercise and maintain a healthy weight, ensure that they get enough exercise, and limit sodium consumption.

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Conclusion

Eczema, in all its forms, can be managed and maintained in many different ways. But, knowing more about each of them can allow you to take better care of yourself and your loved ones if you see small symptoms early on. Knowing what you’re looking at can be very beneficial for you, in the long run, relieving you of severe pain later on down the road if it progresses that far.

Jeslyn Savage

Jeslyn Savage

Jeslyn is a contributor and content developer for Our Eczema Story. She is not a medical professional. Her articles, comments, and suggestions are not intended to replace any medical advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials.