Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In Singapore, about 1 in 5 children have eczema. It is a type of dermatitis that causes inflammation, itchiness, and redness of the skin. While the exact eczema causes are not fully understood, it is believed to be related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Common triggers include stress, irritants, allergens, and changes in temperature or humidity. Certain foods or medications can also trigger eczema flare-ups. It is often associated with other allergic conditions, such as allergic rhinitis and asthma. Eczema treatment include avoidance of triggers and moisturisation.
Eczema and its Association with Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a type of allergy that causes inflammation of the nasal passages, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itching. Asthma is a respiratory condition that causes narrowing and inflammation of the airways, leading to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
The link between eczema, allergic rhinitis, and asthma is known as the “atopic triad”. Research has shown that individuals with eczema are more likely to develop allergic rhinitis or asthma, and vice versa. This is because these conditions are all related to an overactive immune system. When the immune system is activated by an allergen or irritant, it can cause inflammation and a range of symptoms in different parts of the body.
When it comes to eczema on the face, it is important to take special care. Facial skin is more delicate than other parts of the body, and certain treatments may not be suitable for use on the face. For example, strong corticosteroids can cause thinning of the skin and should be used sparingly on the face. Instead, mild corticosteroids or non-steroidal creams may be used to treat facial eczema.
Treatment options for eczema vary depending on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may be treated with over-the-counter creams and ointments that contain moisturizers and anti-inflammatory ingredients. More severe cases may require prescription medications such as corticosteroids. Individuals with eczema who also have allergic rhinitis or asthma may need additional treatment to manage these conditions.
In conclusion, eczema is a common and often frustrating condition that can affect people of all ages. While the exact causes of eczema are not fully understood, there are many treatment options available that can help to manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups. The link between eczema, allergic rhinitis, and asthma highlights the importance of addressing these conditions together to achieve optimal management and quality of life. By following these guidelines, individuals with eczema can manage their condition and enjoy healthy, comfortable skin.