Eczema (dermatitis) is term for various skin conditions that inflame the outer level of your skin. Eczema is incredibly visible and causes reddening and inflammation. Eczema is also known to cause itching. Eczema is known to be genetic and occurs most commonly in infants and small children. It’s usually resolved by age 3, but for many people eczema continues throughout their life. Eczema is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is strong evidence that eczema is at least partially inherited. However, environmental factors can also play a huge part in causing or re-igniting causes of eczema. These factors include hygiene, food allergies, stress, chemicals, and changes in weather.
Eczema on Face and its Devastating Effects
Facial eczema is considered by many to be the worst form of eczema as it can cause devastating self-esteem issues in sufferers. Body eczema can often be hidden by clothes but facial eczema cannot be hidden. Additionally, eczema on face tends to be easily irritable and it’s very tempting to try to scratch eczema on face which can worsen the problem.
The Various Types of Facial Eczema
Atopic Eczema - This is the most common form of eczema that can occur anywhere in the body and causes inflamed red skin. This form of eczema tends to be genetically inherited and usually occurs in early childhood. In many cases, atopic eczema continues onto adulthood. There is also a high correlation between families who inherit asthma and those who inherit atopic eczema. This form of eczema on face tends to be very itchy. It’s important that you resist the temptation to itch your eczema on face as itching it may cause further inflammation.
Seborrhoeic Eczema – This form of eczema frequently occurs on the face and is believed to be caused by an allergy to certain forms of yeast that naturally occur on a person’s skin. Seborrhoeic eczema is not usually itchy, and tends to cause red skin with some yellowish blemishes. This is a powerful form of eczema that is rather difficult to get rid of. It usually resurfaces when treatment is paused, which means that you’ll have to consistently treat it for a long period of time.
Allergic Contact Eczema – Allergic Contact Eczema is caused by allergies to substances, chemicals, or foods. This form of eczema tends to look very similar to atopic eczema. The initial allergy is caused by a high exposure to the substance which causes sensitivity to the substance. The offending substance could cause irritation through the air, or through direct touch. This means that even small amounts of the substance can cause eczema. Testing for this form of eczema on face is done by patch tests where a tiny amount of the substance is put on your skin. You wait a couple of days, and then go back to your dermatologist who will look at the affected skin. If the skin is irritated you probably have an allergy to that substance.
Irritant Contact Eczema – This form of eczema is caused by irritation from substances like soap, chemicals, detergents and other forms of irritation. This is usually not genetically inherited and enough irritation will create this form of eczema in any person. Irritant contact eczema looks similar to other forms of eczema and frequently occurs to people who are exposed to high amounts of exposure in their jobs or daily lives. Workers in industrial jobs are often exposed to chemicals during their jobs which cause this form of eczema on face. However, you can also get irritant contact eczema from exposure to household chemicals.
Light Sensitivity Eczema – Exposure to sunlight can worsen other forms of eczema but in some cases it can help a person’s eczema. Exposure to sunlight can cause eczema in conjunction with certain chemicals. This form of facial eczema will tend to be worse in parts of the face that are frequently exposed to the sun. You can test for facial eczema by going to your dermatologist who may able to run ultraviolet tests on you.
How to Treat Eczema on Face
Treating your eczema can be a struggle because of the wide variety of eczema’s, as well as the large number of causes. The first step in treating your eczema is seeing your dermatologist so he can figure out which form of eczema it is. Your dermatologist will then figure out the exact treatment for your case of eczema. Treatment is a lot simpler for some cases of eczema, and difficult in other cases.
If you and your dermatologist have figured out the cause of the eczema, you should limit your exposure to the offending substance. This will require diligence on your part as many eczema causing chemicals are found in common household soaps, detergents, cosmetics, sunscreens, etc. You may also have to avoid soap completely and use emulsifying ointments instead. Another common suggestion is to use soft moisturizers or ointments every day. Mild topical steroids are often used to combat eczema, but they must be used under the careful supervision of a dermatologist as improper use can lead to damage to your skin. Pimecrolimus cream is also used to combat eczema and is available with a prescription from your doctor or dermatologist. Pimecrolimus cream is a non-steroid cream.
Severe forms of eczema on face require special treatment with tacrolimus ointment or powerful immunosuppressants. The long term safety of some of these treatments is in some cases unclear, and it’s very important that you check with your dermatologist before starting treatment.
Your specific type of eczema will often determine the exact steps you have to take. For example, if you have Seborrhoeic Eczema you should use an anti-yeast creams. If sunlight causes or worsens your eczema, you may have to avoid sunlight as much as possible. Regardless of the type or severity of eczema on face you have, it’s extremely important that you seek a licensed dermatologist before starting treatment.