Table Of Index
What is eczema?
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is an inflammatory disease that leads to rough, itchy and cracked patches of skin. Eczema is most common in children and symptoms generally appear by the age of 5. Nearly 60% of people with this condition will no longer have symptoms by adolescence. Eczema is a type of dermatitis that can inflame or irritate the skin. Regular moisturizing and following other skin care habits help relieve itching and check new outbreaks (or flares). Treatment might also include creams or medicated ointments. This skin condition weakens the skin’s barrier function.
Type of eczema
Neurodermatitis: This condition leads to the formation of scaly patches of skin on the forearms, head, wrists, and lower legs. It may also occur because of a localized itch, including from an insect bite.
Discoid eczema: This is also known as nummular eczema and appears as circular patches of the irritated skin that may be scaly, crusted, and itchy.
Allergic contact dermatitis: This is a type of skin reaction which occurs after contact with any substance or allergen that your immune system finds as foreign.
Dyshidrotic eczema: This type of eczema refers to skin irritation on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. It is also characterized by tiny blisters.
Stasis dermatitis: This is skin irritation in the lower leg. It is generally related to circulatory issues.
Causes and Symptoms
Below are some tests to diagnose eczema
Patch testing: Your doctor might suggest patch testing on the skin. Small amount of different substances are applied on the skin and then it is covered. In the next few days, the doctor looks at the skin for any signs of a reaction. Patch test can help detect specific types of allergies causing dermatitis.
Skin Biopsy: A dermatologist will remove a small portion of skin for lab testing. This procedure is necessary if doctors are unable to diagnose your condition in a physical exam or a patch test. A skin biopsy is generally performed in a doctor’s office. In a lab, a pathologist with specialization in skin cells looks at the sample under a microscope to find out whether eczema is present or whether a different skin condition is the reason for the rash.
Physical Examination: The dermatologist will carefully examine the skin in a physical exam. The location, patte as well as appearance of a rash helps the doctors to know about its causes. The doctor might ask certain questions about when the symptoms appeared, whether a rash comes and goes and which body parts they affect. They will also want to find if there is any noticeable patte about when the rashes appear.
Allergy skin test: Prick skin tests is done to foods or inhalant allergens to find sensitization or lack of sensitization to certain allergens because of eczema.
Buccal swabs: The inside of your cheek is swabbed with a cotton applicator to remove cells as a DNA source material to detect mutations in the Filaggrin gene, which may cause eczema.
Blood tests: Your blood tests will require a small blood sample. Such test checks for high levels of eosinophils, which forms part of an immune reaction.
Risk & Complications
Bacterial skin infections: As atopic eczema could cause the skin to become cracked and thus increasing the risk of the skin getting infected with bacteria. The risk is more when you scratch eczema or don’t use your treatment correctly.
Viral skin infections: Eczema can become infected with herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. This can lead to a serious condition known as eczema herpeticum.
Food Allergies: Studies reveal that the more severe is your eczema, the higher is your chances of having a food allergy. In some cases, food allergies could trigger the condition.
Psychological Effects: Eczema may affect your mental well-being and quality of life. It can also lead to isolation and embarrassment. Children could be teased or bullied.
Eye Conditions: Eczema may affect the sensitive skin around the eyes. Individuals with severe eczema have a higher chance of getting eye conditions like Conjunctivitis, which results from irritants, allergens, bacteria, and viruses.
Preparation of Treatment
There are a few things which need to be followed while starting eczema treatment to get better results. Follow healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Stay away from pollutants which may hinder the treatment effectiveness. Avoid scrubbing or drying the skin hard or for too long. You need to tell your doctor what all medications you are currently taking. The doctor may ask you to discontinue some of those medications.
Moisturize your skin: The skin needs to be moisturized to prevent eczema. Dry skin is often characterized by the lack of oil on the face. To prevent eczema and keep the skin hydrated, drink plenty of water, use a mild cleanser and apply a hydrating moisturizer to the skin. Avoid triggers: Pollen, dust, dust mites, pet dander, mould and a poor diet can trigger an eczema flare-up. Hence, it is important to know your eczema triggers to avoid them whenever possible. Take lukewarm showers: Soaking in a hot bath is not a good idea for preventing or treating eczema. Bathing in hot water can destroy the skin’s lipid barrier, which forms the top layer of the epidermis that allows the skin to remain hydrated. Use a humidifier: Dry weather often leads to eczema flare-ups. Low humidity can cause the skin to become dehydrated, leading to eczema. Consider using a humidifier to keep your skin moistened. Avoid scratching: Itching may make things worse by exacerbating redness you are experiencing. Scratching eczema creates a cycle of itch, scratch and rash. When you scratch, you may get temporary relief, but rashes get worse.
Medications: Many medications are available to prevent itching and repair the skin. Products are generally available in different forms such as creams, gels and ointments. Apply them as directed before you moisturize. However, overuse of a corticosteroid product may lead to side effects like thinning skin.
Wet dressings: Treatment for severe eczema may involves using a corticosteroid ointment and then sealing in the medication using a wrap of wet gauze.
Light therapy: This treatment approach is used for those who do not get beer with topical treatments. Light therapy (or phototherapy) involves exposure of the affected part to controlled amounts of natural sunlight.
Cost of the treatment
The cost of eczema treatment in India starts from $120. However, eczema treatment cost in India can differ from one person to another depending on the severity of the skin disease, the facility the patient selects for their treatment, and any other underlying conditions that may affect their treatment. The cost of eczema treatment in India is much less compared to many other countries.
From the first onset of symptoms, such as dryness, itch, irritation, to when the skin is clear after the right treatment, flare-ups may last approximately 1-3 weeks. The duration of flare-ups might vary from person to another with eczema depending on many factors such as the type of the condition and the treatment method used. You need to strictly follow the diet recommended by the doctor for speedy recovery. Itching eczema should be avoided while healing. You need to update your doctor regularly about your health status. No additional medications should be taken without doctor’s consultation.
Award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd
Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui is an award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd., a professionally managed medical tourism holding company and the active Director of Alshifa Healthcare Services Pvt. Ltd., a full-service medical tourism aggregation agency servicing JCI and NABH/ NABL accredited Hospitals across the country’s 5 locations.
In addition to Marlin, Alshifa also includes Media Group, which houses Arabic Medical Tourism e-Magazine healthandtour.com. The E-magazine “مجلة الصحة والسياحة” provides a wide scope of medical tourism information to healthcare travellers to find a safe, effective and cost-saving solution for their medical and healthcare needs. In addition to running E-Magazine, Dr. Mohammad Afzal also serves as Delhi-state coordinator in Foundation of Healthcare and Wellness Promotion focused on bringing India’s Healthcare closer to the world and smoothen world’s access to Indian Healthcare.