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Is a generalised term for a collection of skin disorders commonly described as dermatitis. Eczema can cause redness and scaling of the skin, vesicles, dryness, skin weeping and itching.

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that usually appears in early childhood and can vary in severity. Symptoms may flare up or subside from day to day.

Skin irritants such as soap, hot water and synthetic fabrics should be avoided as much as possible to minimize flare ups.

A strong link has been found between eczema and allergic conditions (including hay fever) and asthma.

Causes of Eczema:

  • Inherited condition often associated with asthma and rhinitis.
  • Histamine and t-cells in the body that react to allergies or irritants, which come in contact to the skin leading to acute and chronic inflammation.

Symptoms of Eczema:

  • The appearance varies from person to person.
  • Dry, reddened, flacky skin that itches and burns is the most common side effect.
  • Intense itching is usually the first symptom in most people.
  • Sometimes,  may lead to blistering and lesions that ooze.
  • Skin rash may last for a few hours or days. In chronic dermatitis symptoms will last for longer periods of time.

Management of Eczema:

  • Patch testing.
  • Removal of allergen.
  • Topical corticosteroids (coal tar) and moisturisers.
  • Oral medication if severe.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene to reduce risk of secondary skin infection.
  • Ultraviolet radiation and laser therapy.

Podiatry Relevance:

Two common allergens, found in shoes cause this common skin condition, these are the chemicals in the rubber adhesives and tanning agents.

If you are concerned with any rashes or lesions on your feet it is best to consult with you podiatrist or GP.

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