Eczema is actually a collection of skin conditions that cause the skin to become irritated and inflamed. Also referred to as atopic dermatitis, eczema has no known cure and doctors are still speculating on what causes the condition. Much like with psoriasis, doctors believe that a reaction within the body's immune system may be the cause of the physical reactions that appear on the skin. One thing that has been noticed is that many cases of eczema are diagnosed in individuals who have a strong family history of either asthma or upper respiratory allergies. It may also be caused by a defect in the makeup of the skin that allows germs and debris to penetrate through the surface layers of the dermis.
Eczema is not triggered by poor hygiene, but not keeping the skin clean and sufficiently moisturized may irritate the condition. Eczema, as well as other types of skin conditions, can be easily irritated causing blisters and lesions to form. Cleansing the skin regularly and patting the area dry will help to remove dirt and debris that collect on the surface of the skin as a person makes their way through the day. If a patient has questions concerning proper ways to clean areas that are affected by eczema, they should speak to a dermatologist who specializes in both diagnosing and treating the condition.
Eczema has no known cure, but the symptoms are easily treated with topical ointments and creams. Anti-itch creams are also used to control the intense discomfort associated with the condition. The dermatologist may perform various tests to determine if an allergic reaction is irritating the condition. If so, antihistamines may be used to help alleviate some of the discomfort associated with the symptoms. Medications are also being developed that help to control the malfunctions that may occur within the immune system. In some cases, "photo" or light therapy may be used to help reduce the severity and intensity of the symptoms.