Adult Eczema – What Is It?

Most people with adult eczema have had eczema as a child. Those adults who had eczema as a child suffer with atopic dermatitis. A smaller proportion of people develop adult onset eczema. For those who develop eczema as an adult, this may be due to developed weaknesses in the immune system, or it may be associated with their occupation.Certain immune system diseases may make one more prone to developing eczema.
This type of eczema may occur on any part of the body. People who work as cleaners or other occupations where there is frequent hand washing and the wearing of gloves may develop adult onset eczema. Dentists, nurses and people who work with chemicals and metals are more prone to developing this type of eczema. This type of eczema is commonly known as contact or irritant eczema.The symptoms of adult eczema depend upon the symptoms and the area of the body affected. The symptoms of atopic dermatitis include a red scaly itchy rash. This may first appear as boils which then become flat and scaly. They may also cause a darkening discoloration of the skin. The extreme itch leads to scratching which may then result in broken skin that become secondarily infected with common skin bacteria such as staphylococcus.The site of the body affected and the symptoms of contact /irritant eczema depend upon the type of substance one is exposed to. The substance has to come in direct contact with the skin. This often provides a clue as to the cause of contact/ irritant eczema.The treatment of atopic dermatitis is mainly centered on finding out the root cause of allergies which contribute to the development of eczema flare ups, and avoiding these. The next most important thing is to maintain moisturisation of the skin. This is done by drinking plenty of fluids, water being best, and taking good care of the skin.It is important to treat the skin gently. Avoid having long hot showers and baths. Have short baths in cool to warm water. Avoid using soap based products to cleanse the skin. Use natural non-soap based cleansers. After baths do not rub the skin and do not dry completely. Gently pat dry and immediately apply moisturiser.Avoid heavy greasy moisturisers which clog the pores. Use natural moisturisers such as extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil, and other natural oils. These types of moisturisers contain no perfumes or other additives which can dry the skin, and contribute to eczema flare-ups. They are pure and are easily absorbed by the skin, keeping it moisturised for longer. These products also contain natural healing substances that promote healing of the skin. This is why it is important to use the virgin cold pressed varieties of these products rather than those that have been heat treated, resulting in the destruction of the natural healing ingredients.Adult eczema that comes about as a result of contact with irritants usually resolve, when one avoids using or coming into contact with the irritant.