It was seen that eczema symptoms vary from person to person but, however, the most usual symptoms are dry, itchy skin, rashes on the cheeks, arms, and legs, and cracks behind the ears. Itching is an important symptom of eczema, and those with atopic dermatitis are more sensitive to it, needing to scratch for a long time. It is known that scratching and rubbing in response to itching makes the skin inflammation get worse. Itching can be a problem during sleep, because the conscious control of scratching decreases and the itchiness becomes more noticeable because of the absence of other stimuli.
Because of the scratching, there can appear skin infections. Some people with eczema develop red, scaling skin, and there, the immune system is becoming very activated, and others develop thick and leathery skin, condition called lichenification. There also exists the possibility that some people to develop small raised bumps or papules on their skin, and when those papules are scratched, they open and become crusty and infected.
It is known that the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin is composed by the inner part containing moist, living cells, and the outer part, known as the stratum corneum, containing dry, flattened, dead cells. Normally, the stratum corneum acts as a barrier, protects other layers of skin from damage caused by irritants, and prevents the rest of the skin from drying out. It was seen that when this barrier is damaged, the irritants will act more intensely on the skin. The skin of the patient with eczema is very dry and has reduced abilities for protection. This skin is also susceptible to recurring infections, like staphylococcal and streptococcal bacterial skin infections and warts, herpes simplex, and molluscum contagiosum.
We can mention some of the features that characterize the eczema. Lichenification results because of constant scratching and rubbing, and the skin is thick and leathery. Ichthyosis consists in dry, rectangular scales on the skin, atopic pleat is an extra fold of skin that develops under the eye, and keratosis pilaris consists in small, rough bumps that appear on the face, upper arms, and thighs. It was seen that after exposing to an allergen, after exercise or a hot bath, or at the beginning of flares, urticaria can appear. Some other features that we can mention are cheilitis, which is an inflammation of the skin on and around the lips, hyperlinear palms- increased number of skin creases on the palms- , and eyelids that have become darker in color from inflammation or hay fever (hyperpigmented eyelids).
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