Do I have eczema? February 29, 2016 12:34

‘This rash won’t go away.’ ‘My skin is very dry and sensitive.’ ‘I can’t stop scratching.’  These are very common complaints from sufferers of eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis.  Eczema can affect anyone, at any time in life, though mostly during infancy.  About 20% of babies have it and 1 in 10 adults have some type of eczema.  Often sufferers will have family members with the same condition or may suffer hay fever, asthma or other allergies.

What does it look like?

If you, or a loved one, have eczema it’s likely your skin will be red, dry and sensitive. Symptoms can range from very mild to severe.  You may suffer from the unpleasant and intense itching causing further inflammation on your skin. Other signs to look out for are:

  • Recurring rash
  • Scaly areas
  • Oozing and crusting of skin
  • Rough leathery patches
  • Dark coloured patches.

Symptoms of eczema are different for each person and can affect any part of your skin. Commonly it’s found in the bends of the elbows and knees, face, buttocks, hands, wrists and feet. But really it can appear anywhere.

Getting help

If you suspect you have this condition it is important to see your medical practitioner straightaway.  They can best diagnose eczema by examining the skin and looking at any family history. They may then refer you to a dermatologist or allergist for confirmation or treatment. If you would like some advice on the many treatments available speak to your local pharmacist about what is available or head to our online store to check out Eczacol and find out if it could help you.

What about my kids?

Signs of eczema in children usually appear as early as nine to twelve months of age, with some as early as 4 months. In babies eczema tends to show up on the cheeks and scalp first.  It may spread to the arms, legs, chest or other parts of the body.  Rash’s also commonly appear on: -

  • Inside of elbows and backs of knees
  • Wrists, and the ankles

Thankfully most children grow out of the condition before school age or adulthood. Remember though only your doctor can diagnose eczema correctly so if you are in any doubt check any unusual skin appearance with them.

 

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about eczema and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have eczema, atopic dermatitis or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.