What is Eczema?

Eczema is a general term for inflammation of the skin which can show as a red, itchy rash known as erythema.

Dermatitis is also another term used for eczema. There are several different types of eczema, such as contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, neurodermatitis to name a few with differing aetiology.

Eczema affects adults and children alike, but it is not contagious and is known to be an allergy response.

One in five children, and one in twelve adults, are affected by eczema.


What Causes It?

The causes of eczema are not fully known. There is evidence that atopic eczema has a genetic basis, and so is hereditary.

It can also be aggravated by exposure to potential irritants such as soap and detergents, dust, pollen and rubbing on clothing. It’s also possible that stress may play a part in precipitating flare-ups of eczema.

Normal skin retains water and oils in and between the cells which ensure it is an effective and supple barrier against invasion from outside.

But the skin of an eczema sufferer does not retain the water and oils, and so the skin becomes dry and gaps appear between the cells and structures of the skin.

The result is dry, inflamed skin which can easily become infected.

Symptoms & Signs

The affected skin appears dry, flaky, itchy and inflamed.

Areas of the body likely to be affected include the face, and creases of the skin such as the neck, back of the legs and knees, elbows and wrists.

In more severe cases the skin will be cracked, weeping and even bleeding.

Affected skin is also liable to infection which will aggravate the condition.


Why see a trichologist?

Your Trichologist will microscopically investigate the scalp and follicles accurately diagnosing this condition. Although Eczema is a long- term condition there are many effective treatment programmes available to keep it under good control.

Trichologists can use approaches like non steroid keratolytics to gently lift the crust patches and help clear the hyperplasia. Use of Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) can be incredibly effective in the control of Eczema, we can talk you through how we use this amazing treatment. In fact LLLT is available on the NHS with some forms of body psoriasis it is that effective.