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Health Information For Teens
Eczema (pronounced: EK-zeh-ma) is a condition where the skin becomes red, scaly, irritated, and itchy. There are many types of eczema, but atopic dermatitis (pronounced: ay-TOP-ik der-muh-TIE-tis) is one of the most common. To many people, the terms “eczema” and “atopic dermatitis” mean the same thing.
The symptoms of eczema:
Some people who have eczema scratch their skin so much it becomes thick, darker, and almost leathery in texture (called lichenification).
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes eczema, but they think it could be a difference in the way a person’s immune system reacts to things. Skin allergies may be involved in some forms of eczema.
Many people with eczema have family members with the condition. Experts think it passes from parents to kids through the genes. Eczema is fairly common.
People with eczema also may have asthma and some types of allergies, such as hay fever. Eczema, asthma, and hay fever are known as “atopic” conditions. These affect people who are overly sensitive to allergens in the environment. For some, food allergies may bring these on or make them worse. For others, allergies to animal dander, dust, pollen or other things might be the triggers.
Eczema is not contagious.
There is no specific test used to diagnose eczema. A doctor will look at the rash and ask about your symptoms and past health, as well as your family’s health. If you or your family members have any atopic conditions, that’s an important clue.
The doctor will want to rule out other conditions that can cause skin inflammation. The doctor might recommend that you see a dermatologist or an allergist.
If you’re diagnosed with eczema, your doctor might:
If someone has severe eczema, ultraviolet light therapy can help clear up the condition. Newer medicines that change the way the skin’s immune system reacts also may help.
There’s no cure for eczema. But you can help prevent a flare-up:
If you live with eczema, tune in to what triggers it and how to manage it. For example, if you find that some types of makeup irritate your skin, ask a dermatologist to recommend brands that are less likely to do so.
Your self-esteem doesn’t have to suffer because you have eczema, and neither does your social life! Getting involved in your school and extracurricular activities can be a great way to get your mind off the itch.
Don’t forget to exercise. It’s a great way to blow off stress — try walking, bike riding, swimming, or another sport that keeps your skin cool and dry while you work out.
Vitiligo is a loss of skin pigment that causes white spots or patches to appear on the skin. It’s not medically dangerous, but it can affect a person’s appearance. Find out more.
Ringworm isn’t a worm at all – it’s the name for a type of fungal skin infection. The good news is that ringworm is easy to treat.
The skin rash molluscum contagiosum isn’t a big deal. Find out what to do about it in this article for teens.
Puberty causes all kinds of changes in your body – and some may not make you feel very desirable. Read this article for information on dealing with greasy hair, perspiration, and body hair.
Sometimes it may seem like your skin is impossible to manage, especially when you find a huge zit on your nose or a cold sore at the corner of your mouth. Here are ways to prevent and treat common skin problems.
There’s good stress and bad stress. Find out what’s what and learn practical ways to cope in this article.
Hives cause raised red bumps or welts on the skin. They’re pretty common and usually not serious. Find out what to do about hives in this article for teens.
When your body changes, so can your image of yourself. Find out how your body image affects your self-esteem and what you can do.
Doctors are diagnosing more and more people with food allergies. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with food allergies can make a big difference in preventing serious illness.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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