Eczema

History, symptoms, physical findings

By: / Updated: December 1st, 2011

There are a variety of presentations for patients with eczema. Poison ivy is the most common cause of acute eczema.

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Poison ivy. A serve case with large blisters.

Patients who inherit the tendency to have eczema may have a disease called atopic dermatitis. This is very common skin disease that can appear at any age. Babies can present with redness and scaling of the face or widespread inflammation of the body.

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Atopic dermatitis of the face

Children and adults who presents with itching and a rash in the crease areas of the elbows and knees and about the wrists and ankles have atopic dermatitis.

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Atopic dermatitis of the knee area

atopic dermatitis hands

Atopic dermatitis of the wrist area

Hand eczema is a common presentation for people who have atopic dermatitis. The disease can look just like psoriasis. Doctor’s may have difficulty differentiating the two diseases.

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Atopic dermatitis on the back of the hand

Eczema on the lower legs is very common in adults with varicose veins or leg swelling. This is called stasis eczema or stasis dermatitis. It is common and often extensive. This chronic eruption can become infected by patients who scratch and break the skin.

Contact dermatitis is another form of eczema. Patients who are allergic to any number of chemicals present with contact dermatitis also referred to as contact eczema. Poison ivy and nickel allergy are common causes of allergic contact dermatitis. Patients who wash their hands excessively will develop irritant contact dermatitis. All forms of eczema itch. Scratching causes the disease to intensify and persist.

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Allergic contact dermatitis caused by a metal allergy

Nummular eczema presents with oval or round patches of eczema on the trunk or extremities. The cause of this common presentation has never been determined.

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Nummular eczema showing round patches of inflammation.

Asteatotic eczema refers to an unusual pattern of cracking.

asteatotic-eczema

Asteatotic eczema showing irregular inflamed cracks in the skin.