You wake up in one morning and you notice a rash on your arm or leg. Maybe you put cream on it such as hydrocortisone ointment. After a few days the rash is not any better and it's still itchy. Now your mind begins to wonder what type of rash it is. Could it be eczema? There are several ways that you can differentiate eczema from other rashes.
Eczema is a rash that appears on your skin and can be red, sore and even look scaly. It can be a chronic rash, which means it can come and go over time. Another name for the most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. Atopic means someone who is likely to develop and allergy from an irritant. Dermatitis means that someone's skin is red, sore and can be inflamed. Some forms of eczema include nummular dermatitis, contact and seborrheic.
How can you tell if you have eczema and not a different skin irritation? Eczema will appear one day and may be gone appear to heal, however, it often come back. Most typical rashes go away and do not return. One major symptom of eczema is that it is very itchy. Sometimes the area will be itchy before the rash appears. If someone scratches a patch of eczema, it is possible that it could get more inflated, larger in size and more irritated.
Keep in mind that mosquito bites and rashes due to scabies can look like dermatitis. Red ant bites also can cause inflammation and very intense itching. Some have mistaken chickenpox for eczema as well.
The most common place for eczema to appear is on your face, knees, hands or feet. It can very easily affect other parts of your body. There are many people who experience flare-ups of eczema in reaction to certain irritants or situations. Stress, soap, certain chemicals, animal dander or even household cleaners can cause a flare-up.
Several things can help alleviate the skin condition. You need to moisturize your skin daily, avoid stress, and stay away from sudden temperature changes. A sudden change in temperature can definitely cause an eczema flare-up. Along these same lines, you should avoid overheating. Physicians will often prescribe a cortisone cream to help the skin with redness, inflammation and itching.
The person to determine if you have eczema or a different rash is a physician. Always check with your doctor before applying any over the counter treatments to your rash. Do not just rely on a story from a friend to confirm a diagnosis. To use a drying agent on the skin when it is eczema is not a good idea and rash medications are specific to the condition.