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The 6 different types of eczema

Eczema is a complicated and bespoke condition that varies from person to person – making it challenging to find the trigger and manage the condition on a daily basis.

There are several different types of eczema and it is possible to have more than one type at a time. Read more about these eczema types and what causes eczema, below.

Atopic Eczema is the most common form of eczema and tends to affect hands, elbows, knees and face

Atopic Eczema

Atopic Eczema can appear in children as young as a year old, but can also start later on in life. Atopic dermatitis can sometimes clear completely. However, it can also affect someone for life, flaring up with varying degrees of severity.

This form of eczema can cause dry, itchy, sore and cracked skin. When flared, the skin can become red on lighter skin tones, and dark brown or grey on darker skin tones.

Contact dermatitis

This form of eczema is triggered when a certain substance comes in contact with the skin, causing the skin to become irritated. Usually, the irritation appears within hours or days of exposure and leaves the skin dry and irritated. Causes for contact dermatitis can include irritants or allergens, including:

Pompholyx (Dyshidrotic eczema)

Pompholyx can cause itchy, painful blisters on the hands, and sometimes the feet. Blisters can feel itchy and can weep fluid.

Although triggers are not entirely clear, the NHS explains that it may be triggered or made worse by:

For more information on how to treat eczema read our piece on managing dry skin and eczema

Discoid eczema (Nummular eczema)

Discoid eczema affects the skin differently to other eczemas, as it appears in distinctive circular patches on the surface of the skin that can range in size. The eczema can appear in one patch, or can sometimes appear in several places on the body.

Individuals with patches of discoid eczema may experience swelling, blisters and oozing, as well as an intense itch.

Seborrheic dermatitis

This type of eczema can be developed at any age from puberty onwards and is more common in men than in women. A common form of seborrheic dermatitis is dandruff, which only affects the scalp, but it can also affect your face, ears and skin folds such as armpits, under your breasts and in the groin area.

Seborrheic dermatitis can cause scaly patches on your skin and may be itchy to sufferers. Triggers may include stress, seasonal weather changes and yeast bacteria.

Although the cause of discoid eczema is unknown, it may be a result of contact with irritants such as soaps or chemicals.

Varicose eczema (Stasis eczema)

This long-term condition affects the lower legs and can cause the skin to become itchy, swollen and crusty.

This type of eczema can flare up after long periods of standing, as it is usually the result of pressure in the leg veins. This causes fluid to enter surrounding leg tissue, which in turn may cause varicose eczema to develop as your immune system reacts to the liquid.

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