Eczema - Is It Just An Itchy Bump On Your Skin

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Published: 01st December 2010
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You get that itchy bump on your skin and begin to wonder what it is. You further ask yourself what you have eaten to trigger it or if your skin has come in contact with a possible irritant. Although facts are pointing to a generalized allergic reaction, what you are exhibiting is actually a more specific skin reaction called eczema. A lot of people have eczema but are not aware of it, only because they don't know the specific details of eczema symptoms.

Eczema is an "umbrella term" for several medical conditions that cause skin irritation or inflammation of the skin's outermost layer - the epidermis. In any such instance where the skin's epidermal layer becomes irritated or inflamed, then it is properly referred to as eczema. Dermatitis is another term that people and health professionals often interchange with eczema because there's not really much difference to them. Dermatitis is a general term that refers to skin inflammation. Eczema is a type of dermatitis which affects the epidermis. Since eczema is basically a type of dermatitis, these two terms can be used in place of each other and all types of eczema can be considered as types of dermatitis too.

Four common types of eczema affect humans. One is dermatitis atopica which is the common infantile eczema. This is the most common kind of eczema which affects up to 30% of Americans. It is called infantile eczema because its symptoms primarily appear during infancy and childhood. The three other prevalent types of eczema are contact dermatitis (otherwise known as allergic eczema), xerotic eczema or the "winter itch," and seborrhoeic dermatitis (also called sebaceous dermatitis as it affects the sebaceous glands of the skin).

Apart from the top four main types of eczema, there are also those types that are less prevalent and common. These are dyshidrosis eczema, discoid eczema, venous eczema, dermatitis herpetiformis, neurodermatitis, and autoeczematization.

In eczema, there is usually the presence of even a single itchy bump on the skin. But not all eleven types of eczema share the same symptoms. The rashes that appear depend on what type of eczema a person has. Age is a factor that can decide how an eczema rash appears.

* People that suffer from infantile eczema will most likely see the typical itching red bumps characteristic of eczema. The same kind of eczema on babies and children does not have similar symptoms in adults and instead looks like red patches of dry skin that may flake and ooze.

* Those that have contact dermatitis usually manifest more severe symptoms compared to dermatitis atopica with the presence of large red blotches on the skin that are burning, painful, and itchy.

* The eczema symptoms of a winter itch can be likened to infantile eczema. That is because the rashes associated with this type of eczema are either dry and scaly or red and bumpy. The adult population is more likely to develop dry itching skin which could crack and scale. Meanwhile, it is the elderly who might find red bumps on the skin that look like pimples - itchy pimples.

* Sebaceous dermatitis is like dermatitis atopica and the winter itch in terms of eczema symptoms. It usually presents with red itchy sores. The difference in symptoms between sebaceous dermatitis and these two kinds of eczema is that it is found in the scalp. This is why people affected by this have itchy scalps.

* Eczema dyshidrotic produces the unique symptom of red itchy blisters on the feet and hands, which causes the fingertips and foot skin to peel. Dermatitis herpetiformis also has the same symptoms, appearing in areas other than the hands and feet. The red itchy sores associated with dermatitis herpetiformis are also extremely itchy.

* Discoid eczema can easily be identified by these red itchy dots that are characteristically round or oval in shape. If you see an itchy bump on your skin which has a clear round or oval border and turns into a whole group of itchy bumps, then you might have discoid eczema.

* At its worst, venous eczema appear as red itchy sores that are open. Initially though, these start as simple red skin spots.

* The symptom for neurodermatitis is the presence of reddish brown spots on the skin.

* Autoeczematization or atrophic dermatitis is a severe form of dermatitis atopica where symptoms are widespread so there is more than one itchy bump on the skin.


Charles Perkins is a skin care expert. For more information on eczema and the itching bumps on your skin, visit

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