Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a group of inflammatory skin conditions affecting the epidermis which is the outer layer of skin.

Eczema can be classified as acute, subacute and chronic.

Dermatitis has different types, namely: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, discoid dermatitis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, stasis dermatitis and asteatotic dermatitis.

Causes:

Dermatitis can be due to genetics and environmental factors.

Symptoms and signs:

Patients commonly feel itchy. Painful if the skin cracked or get infected. Patients may experience poor sleep as a result of severe night time itch. The affected areas are red, dry, oozing of serous fluid or even blood.

Treatments:

Topical steroid is the mainstay of treatment for eczema. It is effective in controlling moderate to severe eczema. The side effects are minimal if topical steroids are tailored by dermatologists.

Tacrolimus ointment can be used for mild eczema.

Oral antibiotics if there is secondary bacterial or viral infections.

Oral steroid and immunomodulatory agents are used for severe eczema.

Biologics is a new kind of treatment for eczema with very few side effects.

General Care:

Apply moisturiser often. Use those fragrance and preservatives free products.

Showering is better than bathing. Using too hot water will excessively remove oil from the surface of the skin thus rendering the skin more sensitive.

Wool in clothing may irritate the skin.