Eczema
What is Eczema? Eczema is a condition in which the skin becomes inflamed. The correct term for skin inflammation is Dermatitis. Dermatitis may be due to allergic or non-allergic causes. Allergic dermatitis is commonly known as Eczema. What causes eczema? Eczema may be caused by food, preservatives, medications, latex or pollen allergies. What are the signs and symptoms of eczema? The most common features of eczema are dry itchy red skin, which may become thickened, hard scaly or discharge serous matter. The distribution of eczema varies according to the age of the patient. How is Eczema diagnosed? The physician will usually investigate the patients’ medical history, family medical history as well as conduct a physical exam to identify features of Eczema and determine the need for further investigations. This may be in the form of skin prick tests, patch tests or blood tests. An oral food challenge or elimination re-introduction diets may sometimes be necessary.
“Eczema can drive you into a frenzy. But there is good news and hope. Eczema can be successfully treated and managed.”
How is eczema treated? Eczema is treated with emulsifying ointments. Occasionally steroid ointments are necessary. At times wet wraps and oral therapies may be necessary. Can eczema be cured? Many patients outgrow their eczema. In some patients, Immunotherapy may be used to desensitize and cure eczema.
Urticaria
What is Urticaria? Urticaria is commonly referred to as hives. It is due to swelling of the superficial skin layer, the dermis. Urticaria is often a symptom of an underlying disease. What causes Urticaria? There are a variety of causes of urticaria, including allergic reactions to certain foods, medications, stings etc.  Your doctor will take a careful history and perform relevant investigations to determine the possibility of certain underlying diseases. What are the signs and symptoms of Urticaria? Urticaria presents with wheals and flares, commonly known as hives. These wheals and flares are typically fleeting evanescent non painful and itchy.
“Urticaria presents with wheals and flares, commonly known as hives.”
How is urticaria investigated? The physician will usually investigate the patients’ medical history, family medical history as well as conduct a physical exam to identify features of urticaria and determine the need for further investigations. This is usually in the form of specialized blood and bedside tests. Occasionally skin prick tests may be necessary. How is urticaria treated? Treatment is aimed at identifying and treating the undelying condition. Patients may need symptomatic relief with antihistamines.
Angioedema
What is Angioedema? Angioedema is due to swelling of the deeper layers of the skin. This results from a deficiency in certain body enzymes, and a resultant increase in bradykinin levels. What causes Angioedema? Angioedema is sometimes due to an inherited deficiency in certain body enzyme. It can also be caused by underlying diseases or reactions to certain medications. What are the signs and symptoms of Angioedema? The swelling can involve any part of the body, and is sometimes life threatening especially if it involves the airways.
“The advent of newer therapies has changed the way we treat Angioedema.”
How is Angioedema investigated? The physician will usually investigate the patients’ medical history, family medical history as well as conduct a physical exam to identify features of angioedema and determine the need for further investigations. This is usually in the form of specialized blood tests. How is Angioedema treated? The advent of newer therapies has changed the way we treat Angioedema. These medications have lower side effects and better efficacy.

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