Atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, causes dry, red, itchy patches of skin. According to the National Eczema Association, 10% of Americans have been diagnosed with this chronic skin condition. Learning more about what to expect can help you manage its symptoms. Get started by getting the facts behind three common misconceptions about eczema.
Eczema Rashes Can Spread to Others
In fact, eczema is not contagious. Although doctors don’t know exactly why some people develop this condition, research suggests that the itchiness results from the immune system’s overreaction to a specific stimulus. For example, many people who have eczema experience symptom flares with exposure to extreme temperatures. However, they cannot transfer eczema to another person through touch, nor can they contract it from someone else. Bacterial infections may develop from excessive scratching and open wounds, however, and can be transferable to others.
All Eczema Is the Same
Eczema is actually an umbrella term that refers to a group of similar skin conditions. It’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis so your treatment plan can be tailored to your specific form of eczema. While atopic dermatitis is most common, people may also experience:
– Contact dermatitis, which occurs when the skin physically comes in contact with an allergen
– Dyshidrotic eczema, which causes tiny blisters on the hands and feet
– Nummular eczema, characterized by scaly, itchy spots about the size and shape of a coin
– Seborrheic dermatitis, a non-allergic form of eczema that often affects the scalp and back
– Stasis dermatitis, which is associated with circulation problems
Eczema Will Go Away If You Leave It Alone
Although many eczema cases do resolve over time, especially when a child has this condition, care is still required to manage its uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms. Moisturizing the skin thoroughly twice a day and avoiding triggers that contribute to symptom flare-ups can often improve quality of life for individuals who have eczema. Untreated eczema can lead to infection and scarring, as well as potential self-esteem issues associated with a visible rash.
If you’re struggling with signs of eczema, you aren’t alone. The team at The Dermatology Clinic can examine your skin and provide an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan for your complexion issues. Schedule your appointment online or call us today to learn more at (225) 769-7546.