Eczema is a term used to describle a group of inflamed skin conditions that result in chronic, relapsing and very itchy rashes. About 15 million people in the United States suffer from some form of eczema, including 10 to 20 percent of all infants. There is no known cause for the condition, but it appears to involve an overactive immune system in the presence of certain materials and often occurs in people susceptible to allergies. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which, when scratched, tend to break out in rashes. Sometimes rashes "bubble up" and ooze; other times they may be more scaly. A common result of excessive scratching is lichenification, the leathery texture caused by skin thickening.
Objects and conditions that trigger itchy eczema outbreaks may include rough or coarse materials touching the skin, excessive heat or sweating, soaps, detergents, disinfectants, fruit and meat juices, dust mites, animal saliva and danders, upper respiratory infections and stress. Avoidance of those triggers is the simplest way to minimize flare-ups.
The first and most critical step in preventing eczema is to restrain yourself from scratching. Moisturizing lotions or creams, cold compresses and nonprescription anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams and ointments are often helpful. Beyond this, physicians may prescribe corticosteroid medication, antibiotics to combat infection or sedative antihistamines. Phototherapy is a common procedure to reduce rashes, as are tar treatments (though messy). For severe cases, drugs such as cyclosporine A may be recommended. The FDA is currently studying a new class of drugs called topical immunomodulators (TIMs) for the modulation of immune response to reduce eczema flare-ups.
Children and infants often inadvertently worsen their eczema because they cannot control scratching. You can help by applying moisturizer regularly, avoiding sudden temperature changes, keeping rooms free of dust mites, using mild soaps on skin and clothing, and dressing the child in breathable clothing.
Hand Eczema is generally a chronic condition which can be controlled when properly treated, but tends to reoccur when your hands come in contact with certain irritating substances. The following suggestions may help.
Moles are harmless skin growths that may be flat or protruding. They vary in color from pink flesh tones to dark brown or black. Everyone has moles; some of us have a lot, others have only a few. Rarely a mole can become cancerous. If you have a mole which is showing unusual growth or expansion compared to your other moles, you should have it checked immediately by your doctor.
The number depends on our genes. Moles sometimes appear in crops; especially during the early teens. No one knows why we get moles. Pregnancy can cause moles to get bigger, but if one is getting bigger faster then the others, have it checked by your doctor.
Most moles are harmless and safe to ignore. Treating a mole for cosmetic reasons is a simple procedure. After numbing the skin, the projecting part of the mole is removed with scissors or a scalpel. the wound heals to leave a flat mole, but the color generally stays the same. Complete destruction of a mole requires removing the full thickness of skin. The resulting scar may be more noticeable than the mole was.
Moles sometimes grow annoying coarse hair, and it may be safely removed by shaving or plucking. Permanent removal of the hair, which has roots deep within the skin, requires electrolysis, laser removal, or complete surgical excision of the mole.
A mole that bleeds, itches, markedly changes color, has an unusual appearance, or changes in any way should be checked by your doctor immediately