Eczema is a skin disease characterized by red, rough patches and itching. This dermatosis significantly affects the quality of life of those who suffer from it. Numerous treatments exist to alleviate eczema and combat flare-ups. But is it possible for this condition to heal on its own?
What exactly is eczema?
Theeczema is a skin inflammatory disease. It manifests itself through the appearance of red, rough, and dry patches with irregular edges. The lesions are accompanied by intense itching. Subsequently, vesicles filled with clear fluid appear. Under the effect of scratching, they rupture and ooze. Eczema affects approximately 2.5 million people in France and accounts for about 30% of the reasons for consultation with a dermatologist. There are several forms of eczema, the most common being atopic eczema and contact eczema.
atopic dermatitis , atopic eczema is caused by a genetic predisposition . Atopic skin has a fragile skin barrier, which allows allergens to easily penetrate it. Moreover, the immune system of individuals with atopic eczema reacts more violently to external stimuli , causing disproportionate inflammatory responses when the skin is exposed to common environmental allergens (animal hair, pollen, dust...).
Contacteczema, also known as contact dermatitis, occurs after the skin comes into contact with a specific allergenic substance. Four major sources of allergens, present in our everyday environment, are generally the cause of contact eczema. These include clothing items, cosmetics, topically applied medications, and occupational allergens, meaning those present at work (cement, paint, pesticides, gloves...). Thus, although contact eczema causes symptoms similar to those of atopic eczema, its origin is different and is not linked to genetics.
Can Atopic Eczema Go Away On Its Own?
No, atopic eczema does not go away on its own. It is a chronic skin condition that requires special monitoring. While it's true that a child's eczema may fade or even disappear when they reach adulthood, it's important to keep in mind that this doesn't happen by itself and requires medical management. On a dermatologist's prescription, symptom relief is usually achieved through the application of topical corticosteroids on eczematous lesions. These very rich cortisone-based creams have recognized anti-inflammatory properties and help to relieve itching and redness.
Other measures can help limit eczema flare-ups, such as the use of gentle skincare products, but also thedaily application of an emollient balm. This type of care helps to strengthen the hydrolipidic film and the skin barrier, which are deficient in cases of atopic eczema. The ease of penetration of allergens is thus reduced, which limits allergic reactions and associated inflammations.
Can contact eczema go away on its own?
To eliminate contact eczema, it is first necessary toidentify the responsible allergen. Therefore, it cannot be said that it goes away on its own. Skin tests, known as patch tests, must be performed by an allergist to determine what the allergenic factor causing the eczema flare-ups is. The results are usually obtained after a period of 48 to 72 hours. After identifying the allergen, the solution to eliminate eczema and prevent recurrence is to banish it from daily life.
Following the removal of the offending substance and while waiting for the eczematous lesions to disappear, your dermatologist may prescribe you cortisone-based rich creams, similar to those prescribed for atopic eczema. These formulas help to soothe the damaged skin and promote its repair.
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BORRADORI L. & al. Dermatologie et infections sexuellement transmissibles. Elsevier Masson (2017).