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October 13, 2020

Do You Know What Type of Eczema You Have?

If you’ve noticed that your skin is itchy, very dry and turns red from time to time, it might be an indicator that you have eczema. October is eczema awareness month and a time when we put more light on the subject to create awareness and provide important information on the condition. Do you have one of the many types of eczema? According to Healthline, there are 7! Read on for some indicators that you might have one of the types, as well as treatment tips. 

1. Atopic Dermatitis
This is the most common form of eczema. This type is most recognizable by a rash that often forms in your elbow and knee creases. You may also notice small bumps that leak fluid if you scratch them and skin that appears to be turning lighter or darker and getting thicker in rash areas. This form of eczema usually starts in childhood and often gets milder or completely goes away by adulthood.

2. Hand Eczema
As the name suggests, this type of eczema only affects the hands. This type is common if you work in a profession that requires you to regularly use chemicals that can irritate the skin, like if you’re a hair stylist or work in dry cleaning. You will notice red, itchy and dry hands as well as blisters and cracks.

3. Dyshidrotic Eczema
This type causes small blisters that form on your hands and feet. It's typically more prevalent in women than men. Symptoms include fluid-filled blisters on your fingers, toes, palms, and soles of your feet. The skin can also scale, crack and flake.

4. Contact Dermatitis
If you notice that when you touch certain substances, you develop red, irritated skin afterwards, you may have this type of eczema. It comes in two forms: Allergic Contact Dermatitisis, which is an immune system reaction to an irritant like latex or metal, and Irritant Contact Dermatitisis, when a chemical or other substance irritates your skin. Symptoms include itchy, red skin as well as burning and stinging on the skin. Itchy hives and fluid-filled blisters can also form that may ooze and crust over.

5. Neurodermatitis
This is similar to atopic dermatitis as it causes thick, scaly patches that pop up on your skin. In this type, the thick, scaly patches can form all over your body including your arms, legs, back of the neck, scalp, bottoms of your feet or the backs of your hands. These patches can be very itchy and can bleed and become infected if you scratch them.

6. Nummular Eczema
If you notice round, coin-shaped spots that form on your skin, this could be the type you have. Nummular eczema is very distinct from the other forms and looks different with its very itchy, coin-shaped spots. This type can be triggered by a reaction to an insect bite, or by an allergic reaction to metals or chemicals. Dry skin and already having another type, like Atopic Dermatitis, can cause it as well.

7. Stasis Dermatitis
This type is caused when fluid leaks out of weakened veins into your skin, mostly in the lower part of your legs. The fluid can cause swelling, redness, itching, and pain. You may notice that the lower legs are swelling up, especially after you’ve been walking during the day. Your legs may also feel achy and heavy. You’re likely to already have varicose veins and have dry and itchy skin over them, and you may develop open sores on your legs or on the tops of your feet.

If you suffer from eczema, there are a few paths you might take to treat it. First, it’s always important to visit one of our board-certified dermatologists who can assess your condition in-person and recommend the best treatment plan that is customized to you and your skin type. Our dermatologists help thousands of Eczema patients a year and have the knowledge and experience to provide relief. A treatment plan can involve any of the following options: Moisturizing ointments, oils, lotions and/or creams, topical anti-itch medications, topical corticosteroid creams or ointments, intramuscular or oral corticosteroids, oral antihistamines, and/or light therapy. Whatever you do, make sure to take care of your skin at home by moisturizing (preferably fragrance-free) regularly (especially after bathing) and avoiding irritating personal care products and clothing. 

Our dermatologists understand how skin rashes like eczema and dermatitis can be bothersome, as the itchiness and skin inflammation can make you self-conscious about your condition. What sets us apart is our focus on you as a person. We have the knowledge and experience to establish your type of eczema from a visual examination. We can also determine the triggers for your specific case from a thorough consultation and evaluation. Give us a call or book your in-clinic or Telederm appointment today and we will help you develop the best treatment plan for your needs.