Itching dry skin, sore spots, dandruff and the feeling of being at the mercy of his skin - eczema has increased dramatically in recent decades, with almost every 10th child showing signs of inflammatory skin disease.
What is eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin disease with severe itching. It is also referred to as endogenous eczema and atopic dermatitis. In Germany more than 6 million people suffer from it.
The disease often appears in infancy and can persist until adulthood. This is the case for every 5th patient. However, it can only occur at the age of 20 to 25 years.
Most of the time in the further course of life, an improvement in the clinical picture, however, are in later life still 10 to 25% of all neurodermatitis skin.
Symptoms: How is eczema expressed?
The main features of atopic dermatitis are itching, nodule formation on the skin and skin coarsening in the affected areas. Most of the complaints occur in phases. Other features of atopic dermatitis include: dry skin and lips, a double lower eyelid fold, frequent skin eczema or skin infections and paleness of the skin after mechanical stimuli.
The first lesions usually begin around the third month of life. The baby's skin is red and there are small, itchy blisters. The scratching of these bubbles leads to inflammatory-wet skin symptoms. In particular, the scalp and cheeks are affected. Later, the wet spots dry out and a scab forms. It is also called milk scab, because this scab looks like dried milk. Often, this cradle forms back on its own, but it may also be the first sign of atopic dermatitis.
In children aged 3 to 18 years, it comes to the typical appearance of atopic dermatitis, which affects mainly the elbows and popliteal fossae. Due to the frequent scratching thickened and coarsened skin in the affected areas. The itching is particularly bad and often leads to sleep disorders. This can burden the whole family. Such a strained family situation can in turn lead to a psychological burden on the child and thus to a further worsening of the illness. Not infrequently, such a vicious circle arises.
At this stage, too, the disease may subside or spread and may also affect the neck, wrists, ankles and backs of the hands. Complications occur when the scratched areas become infected with bacteria, viruses or fungi.
Eczema and adults
Often, the disease disappears on its own in childhood and improves greatly. In rare cases, there is a lifelong burden of atopic dermatitis, usually alternating phases with severe skin conditions and phases without skin problems.
However, the disease may even break out in adulthood for the first time. Here are usually the hands, ears, neck and face affected by the itchy nodules.
Causes in the development and the course
The exact origin of eczema is still unclear, but various factors act as possible causes of the disease:
- There is a hereditary predisposition.
- Environmental factors such as climate, air pollution, infections etc. aggravate the symptoms.
- Excessive skin care (frequent showering or bathing) additionally dry out the skin.
- If there are allergies to certain substances, their intake leads to a disease surge.
- Internal factors such as mental stress can aggravate the disease.