Eczema is easily misunderstood. As with other skin conditions, there are hundreds of misconceptions and myths about eczema. In this article, we will address 4 common misconceptions about eczema.
Throughout our series of articles, we covered several types of eczema while emphasizing that the latter is merely an umbrella term that covers a whole range of skin disorders.
Eczema is not really a disease, but rather a description of morphological changes that occur in your skin.
There are numerous types of eczema, including:
· Atopic dermatitis
· Contact dermatitis
· Stasis dermatitis
· Seborrheic dermatitis
Shared features between these conditions include redness, scaliness, dryness, and itchiness of the skin.
Each one of these skin disorders has different mechanisms, triggers, and treatments. For instance, atopic dermatitis may require corticosteroids and vitamin A derivatives, whereas contact dermatitis may only improve after eliminating the triggering factor (e.g. chemicals, metals, dust).
While eczema may completely heal in some people, this condition is often recurring.
Perhaps the origin of this myth stems from atopic dermatitis (AD), which mostly affects children under the age of 5 (90% of cases). AD seems to disappear as children reach adulthood. In reality, many cases of AD relapse later in life. As for the other types of eczema, they often occur in a remission/relapse pattern.
In genetics, a hereditary disease can be transmitted in several patterns, including:
· Autosomal recessive
· Autosomal dominant
· X-linked recessive
· X-linked dominant
These modes of transmission describe how a genetic disease is passed on from one generation to another. What all of these modes have in common is the fact that there is a genetic mutation in the chromosomes.
The only difference is whether that mutation is transmitted in a recessive manner (both parents must have the mutation to be passed on) or in a dominant manner (one parent can pass on the mutation to the offspring).
Now that we understand how hereditary diseases (e.g. sickle cell anemia, Tay Sachs disease) are transmitted, does eczema follow a similar pattern?
The answer is no.
Although individuals who have a family member with eczema are at a higher risk of developing this condition, scientists have not been able to identify a genetic mutation.
In our previous article, we detailed how a skin condition can wreak havoc on an individual’s mental health
While the incidence of mental disorders is most notable with psoriasis, eczema has its fair share of mental health diseases.
Eczema is a very common disease, which explains the number of myths that people spread about it.
We hope that this article managed to correct some misconceptions around eczema. If you have any questions, feel free to share them in the comment section below.
I have had eczema my whole life - atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema. It is frustrating most of the time but I have been able to manage my flare ups thanks to recommendations from my friends with eczema. I'm here to help others like me get better too!
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