ECZEMA

Atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema is an itchy skin condition that is very common in babies and children. In fact, as many as 15-20% of children under the age of 7 have eczema; a figure that has skyrocketed over the past 30 years. In 50% of cases, atopic dermatitis resolves by the age of 5, but it may persist into adolescence and adulthood.*

*Source: CHU Nantes, unity of cancérology & dermatology, spécialisation atopic dermatitis, april 2015

Your Question and Answer

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Is eczema contagious?

No! Eczema is an atopic (allergic) condition that runs in families and primarily affects babies and children. It is not possible for anyone to “catch” eczema.

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What does eczema look like?

In babies, eczema causes rough, flaky red patches particularly on the cheeks and chin. In older children and adults the eczema patches become located mainly on the neck and in the skin folds around the elbows, wrists and behind the knees. Eczema patches can have scratch marks and may bleed. Blisters can also form and ooze. Over time, the skin can become thickened and leathery.


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How can I get rid of eczema?

The mainstay of treatment for eczema is corticosteroid creams during acute flare-ups (as weak a steroid as possible, and never on the face) and maintenance treatment with soap substitutes for washing and regular application of emollient creams. To lastingly space out flare-ups, it is important to rebalance skin’s microbiome (the friendly bacteria that live on skin).

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Is eczema an allergy?

Eczema is not an allergy, it is an atopic condition. In other words, it is associated with allergies and other atopic conditions such as asthma and hay fever. In eczema, the skin’s protective barrier is defective, allowing allergens and irritants to penetrate deeply and cause inflammation, resulting in the symptoms of eczema (itching, redness, dry patches, etc.).

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How do you get eczema?

Eczema is a genetic condition that runs in families. The skin is "constitutionally" dry, meaning it has a weakened barrier against allergens and irritants, allowing them to penetrate skin and cause inflammation. In adults, eczema can be caused by professions that involve frequent hand washing such as hairdressing and nursing. Environmental triggers for eczema include house dust mite.

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN ATOPY AND ECZEMA?

Atopy versus eczema : what is the difference?

Atopy is a condition and eczema is a symptom. Atopy is a genetic condition with a number of symptoms that presents in the form of redness which is called atopic eczema. Eczema is an inflammatory skin disease that presents itself in the form of redness scaly skin and severe itching. This itching frequently affects the patient’s quality of life. There are two kinds of eczema: atopic eczema, which may be called genetic eczema and allergic eczema, which is a type of contact dermatitis caused by prolonged and repeated contact with a potentially allergenic substance over months or years. Applying this allergen leads to the development of eczema. Atopic eczema generally improves with time and it is estimated that three quarters of eczemas will have disappeared by adolescence.

Did you
know?

If not correctly treated, sensitive skin is 2 to 5 times more likely to develop medically diagnosed skin allergies*.

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* Source: FARAGE 2008 British Association of Dermatologists. British Journal of Dermatology 2008 159, pp231–266

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