Eczema is used as a general term for many types of skin inflammation (dermatitis) and allergic-type skin rashes. There are different types of eczema, like allergic, contact, irritant, and nummular eczema. Several other forms have very similar symptoms.
The diverse types of eczema are listed and briefly described below. Atopic dermatitis is typically a more specific set of three associated conditions occurring in the same person including eczema, allergies, and asthma. Not every component has to be present at the same time, but usually these patients are prone to all of these three related conditions.
Types of Eczema:
- Contact eczema
- Allergic contact eczema
- Seborrheic eczema
- Nummular eczema
- Stasis dermatitis
- Atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis itself is definitely not contagious and it cannot be passed from one person to another through skin contact. There is generally no cause for concern in being around someone with even an active case of atopic dermatitis, unless they have active skin infections. Atopic dermatitis is generally easily diagnosed based on a physical exam and visual inspection of the skin by Dr. Debra Walton. Additionally, the history given by the patient and contributory family history help to support the diagnosis. Since itching tends to be the main common symptom of the disease for many patients, it is not possible to say all itching is atopic dermatitis. Itching may be seen in many other medical conditions that have nothing to do with eczema.
Treatment is tailored to meet the individual needs of each patient. It may include antihistamines, antibiotics, prescription corticosteroid medication, topical creams, moisturizers, or phototherapy. Self-control (refraining from scratching) is an important part of effective treatment.