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What is eczema, symptoms and causes?

what is eczema

Eczema is a dermatological condition that can appear during childhood (newborn babies may experience it within the first few weeks of life), adolescence, or adulthood, even if they never suffered from skin diseases. It is estimated that more than 31 million Americans have some form of eczema, whether on their face, neck and arms.

What is atopic dermatitis?

It is a chronic dermatological disease, characterized by rough skin areas (called eczema), which causes inflammation, dryness, itching, rashes, scaly patches, blisters and infections on the skin. Usually, this disease manifests as a generalized or atopic allergic reaction, so it is common in patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis.


The causes are still unknown, but there is a clear genetic predisposition of this disease in generalized allergic scenarios; skin barrier or immune system alterations are also considered to influence, and eczema episodes have been shown to be precipitated by factors such as dust mites, pollen, epithelium or animal hair. Children who are breastfed up to four months of age have a lower risk of developing atopic dermatitis.

Some food allergies or intolerances can cause eczema outbreaks, especially irritating foods consumption. Other factors that precipitate the episodes are: sweating, temperature changes, emotional stress, fatigue, use of scented products, some detergents or cleaning products, woolen clothes or acrylic fabrics.


Symptoms usually vary depending on age:

  • In infants. The lesions appear as erythematous plaques on the cheeks and face, neck, hands, abdomen and are common on the hands and knees of crawling children. They cause a very intense itching that can make it difficult to sleep and, if scratched, the wounds can become infected. In general, patients with atopic dermatitis are more predisposed to bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
  • Children from 2 to 10 years. The affected areas are usually the arm front, the hollow behind the knees, ears, or on the neck and face. Dry eczema, with rough skin such as sandpaper is the most common.
  • Adolescence and adulthood. The affected areas are usually the elbows and knees, with dark plaques from scratching in persistent cases.

Eczema plaques may be ever-present, or come and go in the face of triggers. In some cases, blisters with fluid appear that, when broken, cause the formation of scabs. Eczema is characterized by itching a lot and, by scratching, causes the skin to atrophy and become drier, thicker and change its color.

Eczema is not contagious, and while there is no cure, there are treatments to relieve itching and prevent new outbreaks.

If you are looking for a dermatologist in Tijuana for this or other skin conditions treatment, at New City Med you will find it. Browse our website or contact us for more information, we will gladly assist you.

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