Eczema in adults, atopic dermatitis in adults

Adult eczema varies greatly from person to person. It can be atopic eczema, contact eczema or chronic hand eczema.



Who is affected by adult eczema?

Adult eczema affects both men and women, both young and old alike. Very often there is a history of eczema in childhood or adolescence. However, sometimes eczema appears for the first time in adulthood.

Adult eczema is less common than infantile eczema, but it should not be downplayed: adult eczema affects the quality of life of the patient and their families.

Which parts of the body are affected by adult eczema?

In the case of atopic eczema in adults, the main areas affected by eczema plaques are the face, neck, hands, skin folds. Sometimes the damage is more generalized (severe eczema). The skin is often dry and itchy.

In case of contact eczema, adult eczema is located in the areas of contact with the allergen: hands, feet, face, etc.

In some cases, adult eczema only affects the hands. It is called chronic hand eczema because the disease occurs in flare-ups interspersed with phases of remission.

How should it be treated?

Most of the time, the management of adult eczema is based on the same treatments as childhood eczema, namely the application of cortisone creams and emollients. Cortisone creams are sometimes replaced by ointments based on immunosuppressants, especially on facial eczema plaques.

Adult atopic dermatitis can benefit from general treatments if the creams fail.

How can you overcome isolation?

Adults affected by eczema often lose self-confidence and experience difficulties in their professional, social and emotional relationships. To meet other patients, they may turn to an association, such as the Eczema Society of Canada.

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