eczema

eczema
n.
a common itchy skin disease characterized by reddening (erythema) and vesicle formation, which may lead to weeping and crusting. It is endogenous, or constitutional, i.e. outside agents do not play a primary role (compare dermatitis), but in some contexts the terms ‘dermatitis’ and ‘eczema’ are used interchangeably. There are five main types: (1) atopic eczema, which affects up to 20% of the population and is associated with asthma and hay fever; (2) seborrhoeic eczema (or seborrhoeic dermatitis), which involves the scalp, eyelids, nose, and lips, is associated with the presence of Pityrosporum yeasts and is especially common in patients with AIDS; (3) discoid (or nummular) eczema, which is characterized by coin-shaped lesions and occurs only in adults; (4) pompholyx, affecting the palms and soles; (5) gravitational (or stasis) eczema, associated with poor venous circulation and incorrectly known as varicose eczema.
Treatment of eczema is with topical or systemic corticosteroids but emollients are very important, especially in treating mild cases. Newer treatments include PUVA and ciclosporin.
Derivatives:
eczematous adj.

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  • Eczema — Ec ze*ma, n. [NL., fr. Gr. e kzema; ek out + zei^n to boil.] (Med.) An inflammatory disease of the skin, characterized by the presence of redness and itching, an eruption of small vesicles, and the discharge of a watery exudation, which often… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • eczema — /ek dzɛma/ s.m. [dal gr. ékzema, der. di ekzéō bollire ] (pl. i ). (med.) [malattia cutanea caratterizzata da un intenso arrossamento e da vescicole puntiformi che, rompendosi, danno luogo a fuoriuscita di siero] ▶◀ ‖ acne, eritema, esantema,… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • Eczema — vgl. Ekzem …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • eczema — → eccema …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • eczema — 1753, from Gk. ekzema, lit. something thrown out by heat, from ekzein to boil out, from ek out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + zema boiling, from zein to boil, from PIE root *yes to boil, foam, bubble (see YEAST …   Etymology dictionary

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