Exematous dermatitis is a common skin problem that can occur in any individual and at any age. To prevent confusion in its classification and definition, medical fraternity considers “dermatitis” and “eczema” as synonymous terms, and hence it is addressed by many as ‘eczematous dermatitis’. In simple words it is non- contagious inflammation of the upper layer of the skin.
The condition is characterized by red, dry, inflamed and itchy skin rash. When severe, there may be associated blisters, crusts, scaling of skin, bleeding or oozing of transparent sticky fluid. Eczema can occur anywhere on the skin surface.
Exematous dermatitis can be differentiated in many forms. The most common and frequently observed eczematous conditions is atopic dermatitis, and contact allergic eczema. The other forms include infantile eczema, seborrhoeic eczema, discoid eczema, varicose eczema, radio-dermatitis, dyshidrosis, infective eczematoid dermatitis etc.
What Causes Eczematous Dermatitis?
From an infant to an adult, anyone can suffer from eczema. In fact the percentage of children suffering from eczema is higher than adults. Though not a dangerous condition, Eczema sometimes is very difficult to get cured. It usually becomes recurrent and chronic. Basically there are two factors responsible for eczema: (a) an allergic or sensitive skin. (b) Exposure to an irritant or an allergen. Though the exact cause is not known, certain predisposing causes precipitating exematous dermatitis includes;
- Age: usually exematous dermatitis occurs in infancy, at puberty or at the time of menopause. However, it is not a thumb rule. It can occur at any age, but certainly the percentage is higher during infancy.
- Family history: often there is a family history of allergy such as asthma, eczema, hay fever allergy etc. Genetic predisposition is many times responsible for eczema.
- Irritants: soaps and detergents, chemicals, plants, cosmetic, metal allergy, infections, drugs, are also responsible for development of eczema.
- Extreme climatic changes such as dry winters, severe cold, damp or hot weather can make the condition worse.
- General debility lowers the resistance power of an individual and consequently his threshold. This condition predisposes as a cause for exematous dermatitis.
- Stress and strain: though controversial, stress and strain are also considered as to trigger the eczematous condition.
- Certain health condition such as varicose veins where there is chronic congestion is responsible for exematous dermatitis. Chilblains, oily and greasy skin may also predispose the exematous condition.
- In rare cases exematous dermatitis may worsen after vaccination.
Symptoms Of Exematous Dermatitis
- The common sign and symptom of eczematous dermatitis include dryness of skin with severe itching. It is usually followed by appearance of rash on the affected area. The skin may become discolored and turn red.
- Due to itching person scratches the skin all the time. This may lead to cracks and fissure in the skin. There may be bleeding or oozing of fluid from the exematous area.
- Sometime the symptom might vary; the skin remains absolute dry with scaling. Most often, exematous dermatitis appears on the folds and joints.
- Bends of elbow, knee, ankle, and wrist are the common sites. It can also occur on the face, chest, scalp and the back.
Exematous Dermatitis Home Remedies
- It is said that prevention is better than cure. A person should take all preventive measures such as avoiding allergens that are responsible for exematous dermatitis.
- The second most important factor is to reduce stress and strain. Meditation and yoga are effective in reducing emotional stress and strain.
- If the exematous skin is itchy and dry, apply a moisturizer. You can rub vitamin E oil on the affected area to relieve itching. You can also use coconut oil on the dry exematous area to moisten and prevent itching sensation.
- You may be surprised to know that drinking tomato juice heals the lesion faster than expected. Consuming foods that are rich in vitamin A helps to cure the exematous dermatitis.
- Eat mangoes, spinach, cantaloupe, egg yolk, sweet potato, fish, and meat for ample vitamin A.
- Applying sandalwood paste or nutmeg paste is useful in reducing the symptoms of itching and flaking of skin in exematous dermatitis.