Many people around the world are diagnosed with eczema every day, but how many of them know exactly which eczema type they are suffering from? Many of the types of eczema present with similar symptoms and it could be difficult to distinguish between them without knowing what to look for. Knowing the slightly different causes and variations in symptoms is important when it comes to treating a particular eczema type successfully. Below you will learn about the different eczema types to help you understand your condition better and identify the type you are suffering from.
The more common eczema types of eczema will be discussed first. Note that some sources use the terms “eczema” and “dermatitis” interchangeably.
Atopic Eczema: Here the symptoms present with the characteristic itchy and inflamed skin. With scratching a rash with swelling and weepy lesions may occur. Anyone can suffer from this variation of eczema and it usually starts during infancy then fades with ageing. Atopic eczema is often inherited from family members who also suffer from it. The condition flares up and subsides depending on the exposure to the particular allergens that an individual is sensitive to and is not limited to any particular area on the body.
Contact Dermatitis: The origin of this eczema type is exclusively as a result of physical contact between irritants and the skin. There are two kinds: Irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. The first results from contact from environmental irritants such as detergents, chemicals in the working environment, soaps, perfumes, jewelry, nickel, cosmetics, clothing etc. The second occurs after contact between the skin and an allergen such as animal dander, dust mites, pollen, and dust. Just about anything the skin may be allergic to. The symptoms present at the site of contact and are similar to those of atopic eczema.
Asteatotic Eczema: It has an impressive name, but this eczema type is quite simple and easy to recognise. Its mostly the elderly that suffer from it and presents with typical dry, cracked skin that looks like cracked porcelain. Dry skin and the over use of soap are common causes. The variation of eczema is also known as winter itch or xerotic eczema.
Nummular Eczema: This is also known as discoid eczema. The lesions are characteristically round with well defined borders that resemble coins or discs. The Latin word “nummus” means coin, which is where the name comes from. The round lesions usually occur on the arms and legs and are very itchy, red and scaly and can therefore be easily be mistaken for ringworm. Usually only adults suffer from this type of eczema.
Dyshidriotic Eczema: Only occurs on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Both males and females at any age may suffer from it. It presents with distinctive water filled blisters and are affected are very itchy. The triggers may be similar to those that cause atopic and contact eczema and is very common in hot, humid climates. This type of eczema is also called pompholyx eczema or vesicular eczema.
Seborrheic Eczema: In this instance the affected are is distinctively the scalp, eyebrows and ears and is called “cradle cap” in affected infants. It is typically much greasier than other types of eczema and presents with yellow, greasy, scaly patches. It is a condition that often runs in the family and may be triggered or worsened by too little use of shampoo, naturally oily skin and stress.