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Eczema on your scalp: The request could not be satisfied


Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Treatments

What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin disease that causes an itchy rash with flaky scales. It causes redness on light skin and light patches on darker skin. It’s also called dandruff, cradle cap, seborrhea, seborrheic eczema, and seborrheic psoriasis.

It might look similar to psoriasis, eczema, or an allergic reaction. It usually happens on your scalp, but you can get it anywhere on your body.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Causes

Experts don’t know what exactly causes seborrheic dermatitis. It seems to be a mix of things, including:

  • Stress
  • Your genes
  • A yeast that usually lives on your skin without causing problems
  • Certain medical conditions and medicines
  • Cold, dry weather
  • An immune system response

It doesn’t come from an allergy or from being unclean.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Risk Factors

Newborns and adults ages 30 to 60 are more likely to get seborrheic dermatitis. It’s more common in men than women and in people with oily skin. These conditions can also raise adults’ risk:

Seborrheic Dermatitis Symptoms

Babies 3 months and younger often get cradle cap: crusty yellow or brown scales on their scalp. It usually goes away before they’re a year old, although it can come back when they reach puberty.

Parents might mistake seborrheic dermatitis for diaper rash.

Adults might get seborrheic dermatitis on their face, especially around their nose, in their eyebrows, on their eyelids, or behind their ears. It can show up on other parts of your body, too:

  • In the middle part of your chest
  • Around your navel
  • On your buttocks
  • In skin folds under your arms and on your legs
  • In your groin
  • Below your breasts

Your skin might itch or burn. The scales that flake off could be white or yellowish and look moist or oily.

Because seborrheic dermatitis can look like other skin conditions, see your doctor to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your medical history and look at your skin. They might scrape off a bit of skin and look at it under a microscope to rule out conditions that affect your skin including:

  • Psoriasis. This causes a lot of silvery white scales, often on your elbows and knees. It can also change how your fingernails look. You might have this at the same time as seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis). This usually causes inflamed skin on your head, elbows, or knees.
  • Rosacea. This can also happen along with dermatitis. It causes a red rash with few or no scales, often on your face. Rosacea can go away and come back several times.
  • Allergic reaction. If your rash is itchy and doesn’t clear up with treatment, an allergy could be causing it.
  • Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). Some stages of this condition can cause a butterfly-shaped rash across the middle of your face.

Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment

Seborrheic dermatitis will sometimes clear up by itself. But often, it’s a lifelong issue that clears and flares. You can usually control it with good skin care.

Talk with your doctor about a treatment plan. They’ll probably tell you to start with over-the-counter medicines and home remedies.

If you have seborrheic dermatitis on your scalp, use an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo with one of these ingredients:

If your baby has cradle cap, shampoo their scalp daily with warm water and baby shampoo. A dandruff shampoo could irritate their skin, so talk to your pediatrician about medicated shampoos before you try one. To soften thick patches, rub mineral oil onto the area and brush gently with a baby hairbrush to help peel the scales off.

If you have seborrheic dermatitis on your face and body, keep the affected areas clean. Wash with soap and water every day.

Sunlight may stop the growth of the yeast organisms that are causing the problem, so being outdoors could help make the rash go away. Make sure to wear sunscreen.

Other treatments include:

  • Antifungal products
  • Corticosteroid lotions
  • Sulfur products

These medicines can have side effects, especially if you use them for a long time. Follow your doctor’s advice. The best results often come from a mix of treatments.

See your doctor if your seborrheic dermatitis doesn’t get better, if the area becomes painful, red, or swollen, or if it starts to drain pus. They might give you prescription cream, shampoo, or antifungal pills to clear up the symptoms.

Eczema on the scalp | Eczema Foundation

What to do when your head itches…

If patches on your scalp make you want to furiously scratch at your head, chances are you have eczema. In any case, you are experiencing inflammation. So, is it allergic eczema or atopic eczema? If only the scalp is affected, then it is certainly an allergy (and thus allergic eczema, also known as contact eczema). But be careful: lice also causes itching of the scalp…

Allergic eczema on the scalp

If eczema is limited to the head, these itchy red patches are the result of an allergic reaction.

Eczema symptoms include more than just the infamous redness, which can be difficult to see on the scalp. Oozing and scabs are also present in acute eczema. Sometimes, the only symptom is “dandruff”, but always accompanied by intense itching.

Identify the cause

Hair care products are the most common triggers for eczema on the scalp:

  • hair dye (paraphenylenediamine)
  • bleach (ammonium persulfate)
  • perms (ammonium thiosulfate)
  • shampoo (foaming agents: cocamidopropyl betaine)
  • etc.

Other substances can also trigger a reaction, such as nail polish, for example, which may come into contact with the head through scratching with your hands. The allergy can therefore be caused by indirect contact (allergen carried through the air or transferred by the hand touching another area of the body, etc.).

You can suddenly become allergic to the same shampoo you have used dozens of times in the past. So, the culprit is not necessarily one of your new products!

What should you do?

If you have successfully identified the triggering agent, such as a hair dye for example, simply avoid any hair dyes containing the same allergen in order to prevent future allergic reactions. The same allergen, however, can be found in various products, which can make total avoidance difficult. A dermato-allergologist will be able to advise you on how to track down and avoid the allergen. The consultation will include several questions on your habits as well as allergy tests (patch tests).

What shampoo should you use for eczema on the scalp?

If you have allergic eczema

You will need to eliminate any shampoo containing the identified allergen. The dermato-allergologist can also help by recommending you safe alternative shampoos you can use.

Ultimately, it is up to you to be careful. For example, if you are allergic to a preservative like methylisothiazolinone, you will need to check the label on your shampoo to make sure that this tricky name is not on the ingredients list.

If you have atopic eczema

If eczema is present on other areas of the body, you may have atopic eczema. However, the scalp is rarely affected by this disease. You will need to ensure that there is no associated allergic eczema.

As a general rule, you should choose products with the fewest ingredients possible in order to reduce the risks of aggravating flare-ups or causing atopic eczema to spread. When choosing a shampoo, be careful to avoid those that contain fragrances or essential oils, as these pose an allergy risk. Organic or natural claims provide no guarantee against allergies.

Seborrheic dermatitis is not eczema

Scalp Eczema | Causes & Treatment

Herpeticum Eczema

Eczema Herpeticum develops when eczema becomes infected with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Tends to affect Atopic Dermatitis patients or those who have a pre-existing dermatitis/eczema. Considered serious in infant, chronically ill or elderly patients. Both Herpes Simplex and Atopic Dermatitis are common conditions however, Eczema Herpeticum is rare. Symptoms include, high temperature, an erythematic rash containing vesicles filled with yellow pus. Therefore, if you are suffering from symptoms such as the above you should seek advice.

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)

HSV presents as vesicles or sores that may affect most areas of the skin. Tends to affect the genital region (type 2) and the mouth, nose, chin, cheeks and lips (type 1). The sores may to be painful. Tends to affect those in early years. Transmitted through direct contact (kissing or sharing towels and utensils). Occurs shortly after exposure. Considered highly contagious. Herpes describes eight related human viruses. Simplex refers to the viruses that cause chicken pox, shingles and Mononucleosis (Epstein – Barr virus).

Type 1

Tends to present as cold sores or small vesicles around the mouth. Wounds are susceptible to infection. Infection (primary or recurrent) tends to present sores or blisters in approx 10% of cases. Primary cases present symptoms 2 – 20 days after exposure lasting for approx 8 – 10 days. Symptoms may present one or several blisters which tend to rupture causing the fluid to ooze. The skin crusts.  The underlining healing skin presents erythema. Cicatrix in primary infections is rare. The herpes virus remains in the body in nerve cells.  Reoccurrence may occur although unpredictable, close to or at the primary infection site. Reoccurrences tends to be milder. Sun exposure, menstrual period or fever may cause reoccurrence. Many causes are idiopathic.

Type 2

Tends to produce sores on the penis, vagina, cervix or buttocks 2 – 20 days after contact and reoccurrence may occur. Symptoms include a pruritic rash, fever, muscle ache and a burning sensation. Type 2 may affect other areas below waist level. Initial onset may be undetectable. Reoccurrence which may occur years later may be mistaken for primary infection. Sun exposure, menstrual period or fever may cause reoccurrence. Many causes are idiopathic therefore the the route cause is unknown.

Herpes tends to be easily diagnosis due to its appearance. However a skin biopsy may be required for type 2 cases which show similarities to syphilis and some other conditions. Herpes may affect the eyes which may lead to cicatrix and damage to sight. Ophthalmologist should be sought if eye herpes is suspected. Herpes may be transmitted from mother to baby during child birth (type 2). Primary infections can cause serious damage to the infant. Effective methods are available to prevent this.
There is no medication to date that prevents herpes. Also anti viral medications  are effective prescribed treatments.  Approx 80% of genital herpes is transmitted where no symptoms were apparent. Resting phase herpes bare no risk to the new born.

Asteototic Eczema

Presents as dry scaly skin that has distinct cracked lesions and a distinct paved appearance. Tends to affects the elderly and those who have endured a lengthy hospital stay because of the weakened immune system. The skin dries when subjected to a warm, dry, low humidity environment and shows no affiliation to skin colour, type, or sex. Winter tends to exacerbate the conditions. Tends to affect the lower limbs.

Varicose Eczema

(aka Statis) affects thrombosis (blocked veins), varicose and ulcerated vein regions e.g. the ankles. Tends to affect later in life, showing no affiliation to skin colour, type or sex. Excess vein pressure causes blood vessels to release Fibrin (a fibrous insoluble protein – basic component of a blood clot) which forms a barrier preventing Oxygen and nutrients penetrating the skin causing eczema.

Skin discoloration is caused by the release of red blood cells. Varicose Veins cause slow blood flow, poor oxygen and nutrient supply to surrounding tissue, back pressure increase, fatigue and heaviness in the legs occurs. Accumulation of waste in the veins may result in skin colour change (statis dermatitis).


Scales, skin dryness, pruritis and hyperpigmentation (brown/purple). Manipulation leads to soreness and swelling. Secondary infection is common therefore evident when inflammation is apparent. Ulcers tend to affect the inside leg and developing a yellow membrane that produces an offensive odour. They may surround the leg if not treated therefore reoccurrence is common if varicose veins or thrombosis are not treated. Although rare, cancerous change may occur.


Varicose eczema is considered curable. Treating thrombosis and varicose veins assist remission. Steroids tend to assist recovery however they may cause skin dryness exacerbating the condition. They should be used with an emulsifying agent or aqueous (watery) cream. Emollient creams tend to prove effective in reducing erythema and pruritis.

Bathing ulcers in salt water assists the removal of infected membrane. Powders, pastes, creams and dressing are available treatments.

Oxipentifylline is a prescribed medication used to break down the barrier caused by fibrin. Antibiotics combat secondary infection. Kalmaderm (hyper allergenic cream) may be effective. In severe cases a skin graft may be required. Hyperpigmentation may increase in severity despite treatment.

Scalp Eczema: Casues, Symptoms & Prevention

Scalp eczema can be painful and cause discomfort. Learn how to manage this chronic condition with our experts’ tips and advice. 

1. What is scalp eczema?
2. Causes of scalp eczema
3. Scalp eczema symptoms
4. How to prevent scalp eczema?
5. When to see a doctor?

There’s nothing worse than incessantly scratching your scalp, and losing any self-control, you have in the process. Often, the culprit behind the downpour of flakes on your shoulders and clothes, is an extremely dry scalp that is in dire need of hydration. Although, there’s nothing that a good moisturising shampoo and hair care habits can’t fix, if you’re diagnosed with scalp eczema, you need to be more careful. Because it is more than just white flakes that you’ll be experiencing.  

Scalp eczema brings a lot of unwanted stress and painful symptoms. An early diagnosis will help you seek the right scalp eczema treatment and manage the condition. Let’s look at what causes scalp eczema and the symptoms that indicate the presence of this underlying condition. 

What is scalp eczema?

From seborrhoeic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, atopic eczema, to irritant contact dermatitis there are different types of eczema that can affect your scalp. These forms of scalp eczema can make your scalp dry, itchy, and scaly. Seborrhoeic dermatitis is the most common type of scalp eczema, which develops on the oily sections of your scalp. This chronic form of head eczema can also affect your face and back and is primarily responsible for dandruff. In addition to causing scales and itching, this form of scalp eczema can also cause swelling, burning, and redness.

This condition affects infants too and is known as cradle cap. Typically, scalp eczema begins during puberty or adulthood. Since it’s a chronic condition, you might experience discomfort during flare-ups, though the resting period can be managed. 

Causes of scalp eczema 

The causes of seborrhoeic dermatitis that cause scalp eczema are not determined. But it may be caused due to:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Genetics
  • Abnormal immune responses triggered by something that is eaten or came in contact with your skin. It’s almost like an allergic reaction.
  • Also, there’s a strong connection between seborrhoeic dermatitis and the yeast Malassezia globosa that lives in your scalp. The yeast produces a by-product called oleic acid, and some scalps are allergic to it. Result? An itchy, flaky scalp that screams ‘dandruff.

Other factors that put you at direct risk of developing scalp eczema caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis include:

  • Existing skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, or rosacea
  • A pre-existing condition that affects your immune system
  • Use of certain medications 
  • Depression

As this chronic condition is characterised by flare-ups that occur once in a while, it’s better to identify what triggers these reactions and keep the ensuing pain at bay. The most common triggers are:

  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Harsh chemicals
  • Illnesses

Scalp eczema symptoms 

Identifying the symptoms of scalp eczema gives you a head start in getting the right treatment for your exasperating condition. The prominent symptoms of scalp eczema include:

  • Skin flakes (dandruff) on the scalp, hair, moustache, or beard
  • Skin patches on the scalp that are red and scaly
  • Flaky, greasy, or waxy scalp
  • Itchiness or burning sensation on the scalp
  • “weeping” or oozing lesions
  • Change in skin colouring after the scabs heal

How to prevent scalp eczema?

Scalp eczema is a chronic condition that cannot be completely cured, but there are some effective ways to manage it. You can start with certain lifestyle changes since they can reduce your risk of developing this condition.

As a form of scalp eczema treatment, you need to determine what causes the flare-ups. You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do the flare-ups occur when you are stressed?
  • What do you eat?
  • What the weather was like?
  • Which hair products did you use?

Once you identify the triggers, it’s easier to steer clear of these things. 

Some medications help control these flare-ups and give you immediate respite from the agonising scalp itching and pain. There are creams, shampoos, and topical ointments that are designed to control inflammation. These are mostly corticosteroids and are effective and easy to use. However, these medications are supposed to be used sparingly and only after consulting with your physician. Another viable scalp eczema treatment option includes the use of antifungal gels, creams, or shampoos. It depends widely on the affected areas and the severity of the symptoms.

  • Shampoos and other hair care products 

Certain hair care products are designed to contain the symptoms of scalp eczema and offer immediate relief from the itching and other symptoms. There are medicated shampoos that are hailed for their ability to soothe your irritated scalp and keep dandruff in check. Such shampoos contain different active ingredients that offer respite from scalp eczema caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis. They are:

  • Coal tar
  • Ketoconazole
  • Salicylic acid
  • Anti-dandruff active
  • Selenium sulphide

The onus here lies on choosing shampoo that have the right active ingredients and address the root cause of the problem. It is advisable to use a dandruff shampoo with anti-dandruff active since it has proven to be effective in hundreds of clinical studies. And, in case these shampoos do not give you the relief you seek, you can opt for something stronger like Head & Shoulders Clinically Proven Solutions Shampoos that are created using selenium sulphide.

Head & Shoulders Clinically Proven Solutions Anti-Dandruff Shampoo contains selenium sulphide that fights severe dandruff. This shampoo is clinically proven to control flaking and itching. Moreover, this shampoo is gentle enough for daily use. It gently moisturises your scalp and leaves you with soft, healthy hair that smells fresh and great!

You can also try Head & Shoulders Clinically Proven Solutions Scalp Relief Shampoo that is created using selenium sulphide. It targets the cause of severe dandruff and gives you relief from itchy, flaky scalp. It fights flakes, dryness, and tight scalp, and the gentle formula makes it ideal for everyday use. Treat yourself and your tresses to gentle cleansing and fresh fragrance!

When to see a doctor?

Lifestyle changes and the right hair care products help in managing scalp eczema. However, it is advisable to consult your doctor if your condition worsens. The symptoms include:

  • Fluid drainage
  • Severe itchiness
  • New burning sensations
  • Blistered skin
  • White or yellow pus

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.

Living with a chronic condition that causes flare-ups frequently can be quite taxing. However, this shouldn’t stop you from flaunting beautiful, clean hair. The right lifestyle choices and the hair products you use can improve the situation. 

Itchy Scalp? It Might Be Eczema

24 May Itchy Scalp? It Might Be Eczema

Posted at 05:12h
in Eczema, Rashes
by Lily

Eczema is a common skin condition marked by red, itchy, scaly skin. Many patients at Spectrum Dermatology think that eczema is contained to only certain parts of the body. However, a person can suffer from eczema virtually anywhere on their skin, including the scalp. Someone with a very itchy scalp might actually have eczema, though the redness is often hidden by hair.

What Is Eczema

While it is true that most cases of eczema are on the hands and feet, wrists and ankles, face, chest, elbows, knees, and neck, it is an unbiased condition. Eczema on the scalp is relatively rare, which can lead to a number of misdiagnoses. Eczema may be confused with dandruff. A high-strength dandruff shampoo may then be recommended, but the chemicals in these shampoos can make eczema worse.

In many cases, a patient will self-diagnose their itchy scalp. It may be blamed on hair products, a sunburn, or simply a dry scalp. They may ask their hairdresser about the itchiness. Hairdressers are not medical experts, and their recommendations may do more harm than good. Itchy scalps are an issue to address with a dermatologist.

Eczema vs. Dermatitis

Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis, and dermatitis is an umbrella term for skin inflammation. However, atopic dermatitis is often caused by a gene variation that makes it challenging for the skin to moisturize itself and safeguard from irritants, allergens, and bacteria. The result can be inflamed, itchy, dry skin that feels like it is burning. In severe cases, the dryness can lead to open sores.

Eczema vs. Dandriff vs Dermatitis

Beyond dandruff, eczema is also commonly mistaken for contact dermatitis. This type of dermatitis is an allergic reaction and looks very similar to eczema. A person may have both atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis can be exacerbated by hot showers, frequent shampooing, and harsh scrubbing of the scalp (often in an effort to address dandruff that is not present). Eczema requires warm water, never hot, and a 15-minute maximum shower.

An Inflamed, Itchy, or a flaky Scalp Should Be Looked At By A Dermatologist

Anyone suffering from an inflamed, itchy, or flaky scalp should seek medical treatment from a dermatologist immediately. Pain relief is readily available, as are effective ways to treat the root cause. Contact Spectrum Dermatology today and schedule a consultation.

Keep Your Dermatitis/Eczema Under Control This…

Winter is such a special time. It brings Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and so many opportunities to be surrounded by family and friends. It also brings cold weather that while some love it, others know it will wreak havoc on their skin, especially if they are victim to dermatitis/eczema. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute have the tools for you to keep your dermatitis/eczema under control this winter.

How to Identify and Treat Eczema & Dermatitis

About Dermatitis/Eczema

Having dermatitis/eczema year-round can already be frustrating but can be even worse as winter begins. While the terms dermatitis and eczema are often used interchangeably, there are some differences in which type a person has. Contact dermatitis, or atopic eczema, affects the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis affects the scalp.

Atopic eczema often appears as an itchy, red rash. Some may experience raised bumps or thickened and cracked skin as well. It can appear on any gender at any age and stick around for any length of time. It appears on the face most often but can also appear on the arms, hands and legs. Some flare ups may occur solely during the winter and others may have it year-round. It is typically caused by environmental factors, such as the winter, irritants or other allergens. Dry air that arrives with winter strips moisture from our face and other body areas, resulting in dry skin. If you have eczema year-round, this dry skin from the winter can trigger the eczema.

Seborrheic dermatitis appears on the scalp in the form of itchy white/silver flakes. It can also cause redness on the inflamed and irritated areas. Some causes include stress, genetics, medical conditions and of course, the winter because of the dry air. Just as the dry air from the winter strips moisture from our face, arms, hands and legs, like eczema, it strips it from our scalp as well.

There is no permanent treatment for either eczema or dermatitis, but both have a variety of options to try to help keep your skin and scalp moisturized.

How to Combat Dermatitis/Eczema

If you have eczema, there are a few treatments you can use whether you have occasional flare ups from the winter or experience it year-round. First, moisturize your skin at least twice each day with creams or lotions to help lock in moisture. Next, learn your triggers. If a trigger is the cold winter air, make sure you are bundled up with a scarf or face mask when outside. Lastly, limit showers or both to 10 to 15 minutes and use warm water instead of hot water. Hot water instantly dries out skin and can trigger eczema. While in the shower, make sure to use gentle soaps, as harsh chemicals can also trigger eczema.

For seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp, you will want an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo that contains one of the following ingredients: coal tar, salicylic acid, ketoconazole or zinc. Use this daily until your symptoms subside. During the winter it is important to cover up and wear a hat. This will keep your scalp warm and avoid it from drying out from the cold, dry air. Lastly, taking a warm and not hot shower is very important to ensure you are not drying out your scalp.

This winter, stay two steps ahead of your dermatitis/eczema by using these tips to keep it under control. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas, complete this form to work with a dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute to ensure your skin stays moisturized and healthy throughout the winter.

How To Manage Your Scalp Eczema


My first experience with eczema came in 2012 when my son was born. I watched this little person scratch his joints, wrists, legs and arms and after countless doctor appointments and trying a ton of stuff on the market, I finally think we have the one thing that will work for his skin, as long as his eczema persists.

It is an oil based ointment, with great oils* and butters* that we all know and love, like Shea butter*, jojoba oil* and a whole host of all natural ingredients. His skin isn’t perfect, but it is much better and we have not had to use his prescribed medication as much we used to. If you do not know what eczema is, the simplest definition is that it is a skin based disease that causes dry patchy, often red areas on the skin that itch like crazy.

Typically when you have eczema, or even if you suspect that you do, it is recommended that you see a doctor or dermatologist where you may get prescribed medication if it is determined that eczema is indeed what you have.

Your scalp is an extension of your skin, so it is common for you to have eczema on your scalp which can be annoying to say the least. Scalp eczema has a number of characteristics:

Red and scaly scalp

Flaky scalp

Greasy or waxy scalp

Very itchy scalp

Oozing or have “weeping” lesions

Producing blisters

Causing a discharge from the ear if eczema continues from the scalp into the ear canal

Responsible for causing changes in skin color after healing – (From Everydayhealth)

There are different types of eczema; the most common one is called seborrheic dermatitis which causes dandruff and psoriasis. Cradle cap is the term used for babies who have eczema of the scalp and it was my first clue I had from my son who started having a scaly scalp as early as one month old.

What causes scalp eczema or seborrheic dermatitis?

The most common cause is over production of sebum on the scalp. Sebum is the natural oil our scalp produces that can moisturize our hair. When you have too much the result are scales that can lead to skin fungus leading to really bad dandruff symptoms. There are other causes of eczema that are separate and apart from greasy hair.

Very dry skin

Other skin conditions, like psoriasis, rosacea, or acne

Other health conditions, commonly Parkinson’s disease and HIV

Allergies or a family history of allergies, like hay fever, asthma, and atopic eczema (allergic eczema)

Heavy sweating

Exposure to an allergen or irritant – Everyday health

What can you do about it?

You can control your eczema but it might come back unfortunately, so the first thing you have to do is figure out what your triggers are, is it dairy? Is it excessive exposure to the sun? Is it anything that you are allergic to?

90,000 Eczema on hands, feet and face: treatment, causes, symptoms

Eczema is a chronic skin pathology that manifests itself in the form of foci of inflammation on the body, arms, legs and head. Rashes that form on the skin go through several stages of development: primary redness, dense nodules that transform into vesicles, then weeping erosions form, which become covered with a scab during the healing process (the so-called “crust”). The last stage is peeling. Against the background of eczema, secondary purulent infections often develop.With prolonged absence of treatment, cosmetic defects of the skin may appear in patients of all ages.

Causes and symptoms of the disease

Doctors cannot give an unambiguous answer to the question of what are the basic conditions for the development of pathology. Among the causes of eczema in patients, the following factors are considered:

  • genetic condition;
  • chronic allergies;
  • pathology of the endocrine system;
  • psycho-emotional triggers.

Doctors-dermatologists distinguish several types of eczema: true, microbial, professional and seborrheic. The clinical picture in each case is unique, as are the factors provoking the inflammatory process on the skin surface.

Types of eczema Symptoms Diagnosis of eczema


Symmetrical foci of inflammation in open areas of the skin, hyperpigmentation, wetting of the surface.Later, numerous vesicles are formed, in place of which microscopic erosion gradually develops. Exudate accumulates on them. Patients experience bouts of itching, peeling of the skin occurs as the vesicles heal

Diagnostics is carried out by a dermatologist during the examination of the patient. Symmetrical rashes on the hands, feet, or face indicate that a child or adult has experienced true eczema.


It develops against the background of traumatic skin lesions, fungal, bacterial or viral infections.The lesions are asymmetric, focused on the patient’s lower extremities. Varicose veins become a risk factor. Failure to comply with the rules of personal hygiene leads to the accelerated development of pathology. Clusters of infiltrate form under the skin adjacent to the pathological focus

The diagnosis is established during the collection of anamnesis and visual examination of the patient. The doctor pays attention to traumatic injuries of the skin of the lower extremities, mycoses, varicose veins.Bacteriological examinations of scrapings are performed to identify the resistance of the pathogen of eczema to antibiotics


It develops against the background of the patient’s professional activity due to regular contact of the skin with allergens: chemicals, dust, cleaning agents, air with atypical humidity. The size of the rash is variable.The foci of inflammation can be located on any part of the patient’s body. A characteristic symptom of eczema is an abundance of small vesicles

The main diagnostic technique is the exclusion of a factor provoking inflammatory processes. When confirming the professional nature of the rash, the dermatologist can prescribe the patient an appropriate course of treatment


Affects the scalp.The affected areas are dry, abundant peeling. Itching worsens after performing hygiene procedures. The zones of inflammation have pronounced boundaries. In some cases, the course of the disease is complicated by the formation of puffiness and weeping cracks in the surface layers of the skin.

Some dermatologists do not agree that seborrheic eczema can be considered an independent type of pathology (changes in the skin are considered as a special case of the true type of the disease).The main diagnostic method is histological examination of cells to exclude microbial eczema from the diagnostic conclusion

Do you have symptoms of eczema?

Only a doctor can accurately diagnose the disease.
Do not delay the consultation – call

+7 (495) 775-73-60

Treatment and prevention

The above classification of eczema and the description of the symptoms of the disease indicate the impossibility of self-treatment.Consultation with a dermatologist and consistent adherence to his recommendations remain the only way to relieve seasonal exacerbations. The key task of the doctor is to identify provoking factors. After that, a treatment strategy is formed – drugs are prescribed for the treatment of eczema. It can include systemic and local therapy. Physiotherapy procedures become an additional option.

Systemic therapy

The basis of drug treatment is antihistamines, which are designed to reduce the risk of developing acute allergic reactions of the patient to various internal and external factors.Sedatives are prescribed against the background of high psycho-emotional stress that adults and children endure. Plasmapheresis and other types of hemocorrection are used in severe disease complicated by systemic pathologies.

If the effectiveness of the treatment is low, the doctor may prescribe the patient to take oral glucocorticosteroids. Against the background of an improvement in the condition of a child or an adult, the dose of hormonal drugs is reduced.

Local therapy

Retinol ointment is applied to local foci of inflammation.An alternative can be paste applications with keratolytic properties. Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic components help to successfully eliminate bacteria, viruses or fungal infections. In the presence of a significant number of vesicles, the patient is prescribed drugs with individually selected components. Their combination is based on the clinical picture of the pathology and the cause of the inflammatory processes on the skin revealed during the diagnosis.


Physiotherapy complexes include:

  • ozone therapy;
  • magnetotherapy;
  • laser stimulation.

In difficult cases, a dermatologist may insist on treating eczema-affected skin areas with cryotherapy. After overcoming the acute phase of the disease, children and adults are shown therapeutic and mud baths. In some cases, irradiation of damaged skin areas with ultraviolet rays is prescribed. The dermatologist may refer the patient to a physiotherapist to properly select the treatment.

Preventive measures

If signs of eczema are found, patients should seek the advice of a dermatologist.After confirming the diagnosis, a diet should be followed – dishes that can provoke allergic reactions should be excluded from the diet. It is recommended to refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.

Personal hygiene practices when treating eczema of the feet, hands, arms, legs, or face involve avoiding scented soaps. To moisturize the skin, it is permissible to use water-based creams.


Symptoms of pathology are found in 17-20% of preschool and primary school children.Remission occurs in 68-69% of patients treated. The incidence among the adult population does not exceed 200 cases in every 10,000.

Questions and answers

Are there differences in the causes of eczema on the hands and eczema on the feet?

The appearance of foci of inflammation on the extremities in most cases is associated with traumatic factors or exposure to aggressive chemicals.The formation of vesicles or oozing on the body is often the result of allergic reactions and systemic pathologies identified in patients.

What are the main clinical guidelines for diagnosed eczema?

A patient with a confirmed diagnosis of eczema should discuss with a dermatologist the advisability of consulting with other doctors: endocrinologist, allergist, gastroenterologist.Their appointment can reduce the frequency of exacerbations of the disease and reduce the intensity of reactions to factors provoking the inflammatory process.

Do patients with chronic eczema need to take any medication regularly?

Medication and hardware treatment along with courses of physiotherapy is prescribed during periods of exacerbation. After the relief of acute symptoms of the disease, the patient does not need to systematically take medications.A significant role during this period is played by the child or adult’s compliance with the recommendations of the attending physician and preventive measures.

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Spongiotic dermatitis – MyPathologyReport.ca

What is spongiotic dermatitis?

Spongiotic dermatitis is the term pathologists use to describe the nature of skin damage caused by: inflammation.This is called the “trauma pattern” because the observed changes are not specific to the disease. Spongiotic dermatitis-like lesions are most commonly seen in a group of conditions called eczema.


Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It consists of three layers: epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous fat. The surface that you see when you look at your skin is called the epidermis. The cells that make up the epidermis include: flat cells, basal cells, melanocytes, Merkel cells, and cells of the immune system.The squamous cells of the epidermis produce keratin, which makes our skin waterproof and durable, and protects against toxins and injuries.

The dermis is located just below the epidermis. The dermis is separated from the epidermis by a thin layer of tissue called the basement membrane. The dermis contains blood vessels and nerves. Beneath the dermis is a layer of fat called subcutaneous adipose tissue.

Types of eczema

Doctors often divide eczema into different types depending on the appearance of the rash, the affected area of ​​the body, and the underlying cause.The list below describes the most common types of eczema:

  • Atopic dermatitis: This common type of eczema most often affects children. Most patients with atopic dermatitis have a personal or family history of allergies or asthma.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis: This type of eczema is caused by contact with water or chemicals that irritate the skin. Any area of ​​the body can be affected. Treatment involves identifying and removing the trigger.
  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis: This type of eczema is an allergic reaction that develops in skin that has been exposed to a usually harmless chemical or substance. Common causes include nickel, hair dyes, and topical antibiotics.
  • Lichen simplex: This type of eczema is caused by constant rubbing or scratching of the skin. As a result, the skin looks thicker than usual.
  • Nummular eczema (also known as discoid eczema) : This type of eczema produces one or more round, well-defined red patches.The exact cause of numular eczema is unknown. However, in some patients, the rash appears after a scratch, insect bite, burn, or exposure to a chemical irritant.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: This type of eczema affects the scalp and face. It is caused by chemicals that are produced by yeast and live on the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis can occur in both infants and adults.
  • Congestive dermatitis: This type of eczema usually affects the legs.It is caused by poor circulation and is often seen in people with varicose veins.
Other conditions associated with spongiotic dermatitis
  • Fungal infections of the skin
  • Drugs / drug reactions
  • Prickly heat
  • Pink lichen
  • Gianotti-Crosty Syndrome
How do pathologists diagnose spongiotic dermatitis?

Pathologists make the diagnosis after examining a small sample of skin removed in a procedure called a biopsy.The sample is examined under a microscope. The changes observed during this examination will depend on the condition causing the spongiotic dermatitis and how long the injury persists.

The type of spongiotic dermatitis described in your pathology report will help your doctor determine the cause. The changes seen in spongiotic dermatitis generally fall into three categories:

  • Acute: In acute spongiotic dermatitis, fluid may be found in the epidermis.The fluid pushes the flat cells and gives the epidermis a spongy appearance, which pathologists describe as spongiosis. Large fluid-filled spaces can also form. They are called bubbles. Specialized inflammatory cells such as eosinophils and lymphocytes can also be seen in the epidermis.
  • Subacute: In subacute spongiotic dermatitis, fluid is found in the epidermis, although the amount is usually less than in acute spongiotic dermatitis.The epidermis may be thicker than usual. Pathologists describe this change as acanthosis. An increased number of specialized inflammatory cells including eosinophils, lymphocytes, and plasma cells can be seen in the dermis.
  • Chronic: In chronic spongiotic dermatitis, there is usually very little fluid or inflammatory cells in the epidermis. In contrast, the epidermis is usually thicker than usual and the epidermis can form long projections that are pressed into the dermis.Pathologists call this change “psoriasis-like” because a similar change is seen in psoriasis.
Credit: Bret Kenny & Allison Osmond, MD, FRCPC (updated 18 Aug 2021)

90 000 1.6 Clinical picture of a disease or condition (groups of diseases or conditions) / Consultant Plus

1.6 The clinical picture of a disease or condition (groups

diseases or conditions)

The acute stage is characterized by the appearance of vesicles on the erythematous and edematous skin, pinpoint erosions with weeping (“serous wells”), serous crusts, excoriation, less often papules and pustules.Along with the involution of the rash, the formation of new elements occurs, therefore, for true eczema, the polymorphic nature of the rash is typical.

The subacute stage is characterized by erythema, infiltration, lichenification, scales and excoriation.

The chronic stage is characterized by more pronounced infiltration and lichenization, post-inflammatory hypo- and hyperpigmentation.

A common symptom of eczema is itching, aggravated by exacerbation of the disease, burning, soreness.

True eczema (idiopathic). It is manifested by acute inflammatory erythema, edema, against the background of which microvesicles are formed, as well as exudative papules. Microvesicles quickly open up, in their place are formed point erosion, the so-called serous wells, from which exudate is released, forming areas of oozing with macerated and desquamated epithelium. The serous fluid gradually dries up, forming grayish-yellow crusts. Skin lesions in true eczema usually begin in the area of ​​the hands and / or feet.The rash is often symmetrical, with a tendency to spread to the skin of the forearms, legs and other areas of the skin. The lesions of eczema are of various sizes with indistinct boundaries. Characterized by the alternation of affected areas of the skin with unaffected (“archipelago of islands”). Patients are worried about itching of varying degrees of intensity, which contributes to the development of neurotic disorders, anxiety and sleep disturbance. The eczematous process can turn into a chronic course, clinically manifesting itself as foci of dryness, peeling and cracking.Often, eczema is complicated by the addition of infection with the appearance of pustules and purulent crusts.

Dyshidrotic eczema (a type of true eczema) is characterized by the appearance on the lateral surfaces of the fingers and toes, on the skin of the palms and soles of itchy vesicles, vesicles with a dense cover, sometimes multi-chambered in size with a pinhead. Located deep in the epidermis, the bubbles shine through it, resembling grains of cooked rice. After opening the dense covers of the vesicles, erosion with weeping and serous crusts, cracks and peeling are formed.

Pruriginous eczema is characterized by small, itchy papulovesicles on a dense base that do not open and do not form crusts. Favorite localization – face, extensor surfaces of the limbs, elbow and knee bends, genitals. The course of the process is chronic with development against the background of scratching, infiltration, dryness and lichenification.

Horny (tylotic) eczema is manifested by hyperkeratosis of the palms and soles, sometimes deep, painful cracks. The course is chronic, resistant to treatment.

Microbial eczema is manifested by asymmetric lesions, the central part of which is covered with purulent and serous crusts, after removal of which an erosive surface is exposed with weeping in the form of “wells”. The boundaries of the foci are clear, outlined by a border of exfoliating epidermis. The rash is accompanied by intense itching. Often, foci of microbial eczema are located on the periphery of trophic ulcers of the legs, around fistulas, on the stump left after amputation, against the background of varicose changes.In such cases, microbial eczema is called paratraumatic.

Coin eczema (nummular) is a type of microbial eczema, the lesions are almost always rounded, with clear boundaries and are usually localized on the upper and lower extremities, much less often on the trunk. Plaques are a collection of small papules, vesicles, serous-purulent crusts, peeling against the background of erythema.

Paratraumatic (near-wound) eczema develops in the area of ​​postoperative scars, bone fractures, osteosynthesis, places of improper application of plaster casts.It is characterized by the occurrence of acute inflammatory erythema, exudative papules and / or pustules, and the formation of crusts. Superficial skin sclerosis and hemosiderin deposition in tissues are possible.

Varicose eczema occurs against the background of varicose veins. The development of the disease is favored by trauma, skin maceration, irrational external therapy of varicose ulcers. The lesions are localized on the lower extremities, mainly in the lower third of the legs, often in close proximity to varicose ulcers, areas of skin hardening.

Sycosiform eczema develops against the background of vulgar sycosis, while the process goes beyond the area of ​​hair growth, “serous wells”, weeping and itching are noted, and lichenification of the skin appears over time. The favorite localization of the process is the upper lip, chin, axillary region, pubis.

Nipple eczema is often the result of breastfeeding trauma or a complication of scabies, but in some cases the cause remains unknown. Eczema of the nipples is characterized by the development of mild infiltration against a background of slight erythema, oozing with the presence of serous hemorrhagic crusts, peeling, cracks and pustules may appear.Nipple eczema is usually bilateral, not accompanied by nipple hardening, and is treatable with glucocorticoids.

Seborrheic eczema. The process often begins on the scalp. The lesions are usually localized in the areas behind the ear and on the neck, do not have clear boundaries, are accompanied by exudation and the formation of seborrheic crusts of a yellowish or dirty gray color, pronounced itching. The process develops against the background of oily seborrhea. Typical signs are the appearance of yellowish-pink erythematous infiltrated spots with clear or vague boundaries, fine-lamellar peeling in the form of yellow scales of a greasy consistency.Serous-purulent exudation is possible, when serous-purulent moist, fatty scaly crusts are formed. In the area of ​​the scalp, the hair is glued together with exudate, there are scales and crusts.

Eczema in children. It manifests itself with clinical signs of true, seborrheic and microbial eczema. Signs of eczema in children are more common between the ages of 3 and 6 months. In the clinical picture, exudation processes predominate: erythema, edema, oozing, layering of serous crusts are pronounced. The so-called milk crust or milk crust appears.Erythematous lesions have a shiny surface, hot to the touch. Children suffer from insomnia and itching. The course of eczema is chronic, recurrent.

Occupational eczema develops in the presence of industrial allergens (chemical, bacteriological, etc.) and changes in the body’s allergic reactivity. Professional allergens are amine hardeners, synthetic adhesives, paraphenylenediamine, dinitrochlorobenzene, epoxy resins, phenol formaldehyde, penicillin and semisynthetic antibiotics, heavy metal salts (for example, chromium, nickel, cobalt), turpentine and its derivatives, mercury compounds and semiprecious alloys dr.With occupational eczema, a delayed-type reaction develops to a substance that is used in production and is a professional allergen. The clinical picture of occupational eczema is quite varied, however, it has all the symptoms of ordinary eczema. Most often, occupational eczema develops in open areas of the skin, i.e. in places of contact with an irritant (face, neck, sternum, back of the hands, forearms, legs). With the disappearance of the etiological factor, the disease resolves quickly enough.With the development of polyvalent sensitization, the elimination of the etiological factor does not prevent the development of relapses. Occupational eczema is often accompanied by respiratory changes, bronchospasm, allergic rhinitis, and allergic conjunctivitis. Occupational eczema is diagnosed with certain examination methods. The most common of them are skin tests with suspected occupational irritants, allergological, immunological tests, and methods of functional diagnostics.Patients with occupational eczema undergo an examination of their ability to work, the degree of disability due to an occupational disease is determined.