Types of Eczema

Continued

This type of eczema often affects these areas:

  • Back
  • Sides or back of the neck
  • Genitals
  • Scalp
  • Wrists
  • Ankles
  • Inside and behind the ear

People may scratch affected areas during the day without realizing it. They may also scratch while asleep.

Usually, neurodermatitis causes a skin outbreak that doesn't get any bigger. But the irritated skin can grow thick and deeply wrinkled. Infections may also develop in the irritated areas.

The main treatment for this type of eczema is to stop scratching it. In the meantime, steroid medicines that are rubbed onto the skin can help treat symptoms.

When neurodermatitis affects the scalp, it can be harder to treat. In these cases, it may require the steroid medication prednisone, which is taken by mouth.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

This type of eczema is better known as dandruff. In infants, it affects the scalp. In adults, it also often affects these areas:

  • Eyebrows
  • Sides of the nose
  • Area behind the ears
  • Groin
  • Center of chest

Seborrheic dermatitis causes skin to fall off in flakes. The condition may be due to an overgrowth of a type of yeast that normally lives in these areas, as well as an overgrowth and rapid shedding of cells on the scalp. It may be especially hard to treat in people whose immune systems aren't working properly, including people with AIDS .

Treatments vary between infants and people with the condition later in life. The treatments include:

  • Shampoo containing salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, or coal tar
  • Antifungal treatments or steroid lotions that are rubbed onto affected areas
  • Steroid lotions

Stasis Dermatitis

This type of eczema can develop in people when the veins in their lower legs don't properly return blood to their heart.

Stasis dermatitis can arise quickly, causing weeping and crusting of the skin. Over time, this type of eczema can cause the skin to develop brown stains.

Treatments include:

  • Steroid creams or ointments
  • Creams or lotions that lubricate the skin
  • Moist compresses
  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • Elevating the legs

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on February 06, 2015

Sources

SOURCES:

Habif, T. Clinical Dermatology, 5th edition, Mosby, 2009.

Hanifin, J. Dermatitis, June 2007.

National Institutes of Health: "Handout on Health -- Atopic Dermatitis."

Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine, 2nd edition.

American Academy of Dermatology: "Nummular Dermatitis," "Dermatitis."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Seborrheic Dermatitis."

American Academy of Dermatology: "What is Eczema?"

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