The 7 types of eczema are:
The most common form of eczema impacting 15-20% of children and approximately 1-3% of adults worldwide14. The most well-documented symptom of AD is the widespread itch15. As described in ‘understanding the cause’, AD is caused by a combination of factors that leads to an imbalance within your immune system, leading to inflammation under the skin14,15. Whilst AD signs and symptoms can appear all over the body, in adults, common areas include the face, neck, upper arms and elbow and knee creases16. If you’d like to find out more about the immunology behind AD, click here.
Unlike AD, contact dermatitis doesn’t run in families and isn’t linked to other allergic conditions such as hay fever or asthma. Contact dermatitis is commonly identified by irritation or inflammation after coming into contact with substances. This contact will then trigger an allergic reaction which might cause a flare17.
Dyshidrotic eczema presents as small, intensely itchy blisters on the palms of your hands, soles of your feet and the edges of your fingers and toes. Similarly to AD, dyshidrotic eczema can also run in families. It is also more common if you also have another type of eczema18.
Although neurodermatitis can sometimes be used instead of AD, it is often used to describe a form of eczema that is confined to just one or two areas of the body that look like patches on the skin (unlike AD which is widespread across the body). The most common areas that are affected by neurodermatitis are the feet, ankles, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and scalp. These patches of affected skin appear thick and leathery which leads to pronounced skin lines and red, brown, or grey discolouration19.
Nummular (discoid) eczema:
Nummular (discoid) eczema presents as scattered, circular, itchy patches that sometimes ooze. It can develop as a reaction to other types of eczema20.
Seborrheic dermatitis is identified by redness, swelling and greasy scaling. It appears on the skin where you find high numbers of ‘sebaceous’ glands. These are glands that produce oil. Examples of where you find these glands and therefore this type of eczema is the upper back, nose, and scalp21.
Stasis (gravitational) dermatitis:
Statis (gravitational) dermatitis is a type of eczema that usually affects people over the age of 50. It occurs in people who have veins that aren’t working efficiently, leading to poor circulation in the lower legs. Some of the symptoms include itching and dryness22.
As we have seen, even the term eczema isn’t simple, it’s a blanket term to describe lots of different types of skin conditions and therefore it can be complicated to distinguish what type of eczema you or your child may have. If you believe you or your child are suffering from a type of eczema, why not talk to your healthcare professional.