There are several types of eczema
Atopic dermatitis – caused by a malfunction in the immune system and problems with the skin barrier.
Contact dermatitis – a result of skin touching a known irritant and/or allergen.
Dyshidrotic eczema – occurs on the feet and hands as itchy blisters, usually caused by exposure to allergens.
Nummular eczema/discoid eczema/nummular dermatitis – usually caused by allergens or very dry skin and appears as round lesions that can weep fluid, especially in older populations.
Seborrheic dermatitis – white or yellow flaky, greasy patches in places with more oil-producing glands, caused by a combination of genetics, hormones and microorganisms on the skin.
Stasis dermatitis – happens when poor circulation to the legs causes the veins to swell and leak fluid, causing swelling and skin redness and itch, mostly in older populations.
Hand eczema – is not considered an independent type of eczema, but a location of other types of eczema, most frequently atopic or contact dermatitis, and is caused by a combination of genes, irritants and/or allergens.
Lichen simplex chronicus – or neurodermatitis is not considered an independent type of eczema, but rather a symptom of other types of eczema, and results in thick, scaly patches on the skin, often caused by too much scratching and rubbing.
People with one type of eczema may also go on to develop other types depending on genetics and exposure to environmental triggers.
Eczema impact on quality of life
IMPACT ON ADULTS
Nearly half of people with atopic dermatitis report they are “often” or “always” frustrated by their disease.
More than one-third of people with AD say they “often” or “always” feel angry or embarrassed by their appearance due to the condition.
Two-thirds of people with eczema say that their disease interferes with their job and household chores.
Sixty-six percent of adults say AD restricts what they can eat and drink.
One-third report that they spend one to three hours per day treating their disease.
Nearly 40% of patients with eczema reported that they turned down a job or an educational opportunity due to their disease.
IMPACT ON CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Children with eczema often feel isolated from their peers due to disease-related lifestyle restrictions.
One in five children with AD face bullying because of their disease.
Nearly 30% of children experience disrupted sleep five or more nights week due to symptoms of eczema, which affects mood and well-being.
IMPACT ON FAMILIES
Parents and caregivers of children with AD also experience disrupted sleep, leading to exhaustion, daytime sleepiness and affected performance at work.
Parents and caregivers also report feeling embarrassed about their child’s appearance as well as frustration, helplessness, sadness and guilt due to their child’s condition.
Childhood AD has a significant impact on the mental health of parents and caregivers.
Nearly a third of spouses and partners of adults with AD, said that disease interfered with their sex life.
All You Need to Know About Eczema
Eczema is a common skin condition in children. Due to the irritation of symptoms caused by eczema, toddlers can become extremely irritable and grouchy. There are; however, ways to ease their discomfort.
The most common and first signs of eczema are patches of itchy inflamed (irritated) skin. People with eczema typically develop the condition by the time they are 5 years of age. The good news is that most babies will outgrow eczema by the time they are 2 years old. Some; however, may not outgrow the condition until they reach their mid teens.
There are three types of eczema – atopic, infantile, and dermatitis. Listed below are some factual information about each type of eczema.
National Skin Centre (NSC),
INCREASED AWARENESS, CHANGES IN LIFESTYLE
Many people in Singapore suffering from skin conditions.
Whether it is for eczema, acne or pigmentation disorders, the demand for dermatology services is rising. In 2016, NSC had 304,000 outpatient clinic attendances, up from 263,000 in 2008.
Dr Lynn Chiam, a dermatologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, attributed the increase in demand to a combination of factors. This includes a greater awareness of skin problems and treatments available. In addition, the use of many different skin products at the same time can create problems.
Travelling overseas frequently exposes an individual to different climates and conditions which can also trigger skin problems, Dr Chiam said.
Senior consultant at NSC Associate Professor Chua Sze Hon echoed similar views. He said the greater awareness of skin diseases has led to more people consulting dermatologists.
“Patients now seek more effective management to relieve the burden of skin diseases in their lives rather than to suffer in silence,” he said.
Assoc Prof Chua said that the impact on sufferers can be “very significant”.
“For example, severe eczema and psoriasis often result in reduced self-esteem, sleep disturbance, loss of concentration at school or work, social withdrawal, depression, increased leave from school or work,” he said, adding that caregivers may be faced with fatigue looking after the needs of sufferers as well.
Dr Chiam said that research has shown that skin diseases can impact a person’s quality of life more significantly than other medical conditions, as it is visible to other people.
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