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Are There Different Types of Eczema?

Are There Different Types of Eczema?

Atopic eczema is the most common type.


There ARE different types of eczema.

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is an equal opportunity disease that afflicts approximately 21% of the world’s population, including in the United States. Young and old, alike, suffer from the irritating, itchy, often embarrassing disease of which experts have identified individual types. [1]

Common Types of Eczema

People of every race, color, creed, and religion suffer often daily from the effects of this skin disease that as of April 2010 is still incurable. The most common types of eczema are listed alphabetically:

Atopic Dermatitis: The most common type, atopic dermatitis, is the most severe form of eczema and is most prevalent in infants and children.  The condition can last into adulthood.  The disease tends to run in families whose members suffer from eczema, asthma, or hay fever.   This condition is not contagious.

Contact Dermatitis: Contact eczema or contact dermatitis results from an allergic reaction to external sources, such as clothing, detergent, jewelry, foods, and even the sun. Properly treated, symptoms disappear, but experts recommend limiting or avoiding future contact with those items. Contact dermatitis can be further broken down into several sub-categories.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis: The most common type of contact dermatitis is irritant contact dermatitis, which occurs when an irritant damages the skin’s outer layer.

Occupational Contact Dermatitis: Like hand eczema, many causes contribute to this disease, and all are job-related. Estimates indicate that approximately 13-15% of women and 5-9% of men develop this condition in the workplace. Treatments vary by cause, jobs, and location. [2]

Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Just like it sounds, allergic contact dermatitis occurs when an irritant causes an allergic reaction in your skin.

Dyshidrotic Eczema: Also called (one type of) Hand Eczema, Pompholyx, Vesicular palmoplantar eczema, or Vesicular Eczema, this condition affects only the palms of hands, sides of fingers, and soles of feet. Generally appearing at a mean age of 35, it can develop, though rarely, in young children, as well. As yet, no one definitively knows what causes this disease. [3]

Hand Eczema: Separately noted due to multiple types of eczema that affect the hands. Because it has unique causes often relating to job functions, special treatments are tailored to specific type and cause.

Neurodermatitis: Caused by nerve endings activity. The itching is often intense. Unfortunately, the condition is aggravated and escalated by scratching. Causes most commonly include stress and anxiety. Symptoms intensify when resting or relaxing.

Nummular Eczema: Approximately 0.2% of the population suffers from this disease, which can last from days to months. Men tend to develop the disease most from 55 to 65 years old; women who develop it usually do so between 15 and 25 years of age. [4]

Seborrheic Dermatitis: Though primarily located on the scalp, seborrheic eczema can spread to the face and appears most commonly as oily, waxy patches. Other names include dandruff, seborrhea, cradle cap, and seborrheic dermatitis.

Stasis Dermatitis: Also called gravitational dermatitis, venous eczema, and venous stasis dermatitis, this condition develops overwhelmingly in the lower legs. Stasis dermatitis is caused by poor blood circulation and is most often seen in older patients affecting 20% of those over 70. [5]



[1] “Eczema Prevalence in the United States.” National Eczema Association. N.p., 2013. Web. 11 May 2016.

[2] English, J. S C. “Current Concepts of Irritant Contact Dermatitis.” Occupational and Environmental Medicine 61.8 (2004): 722-26. Web.

[3] Guillet MH, Wierzbicka E, Guillet S, et al; A 3-year causative study of pompholyx in 120 patients. Arch Dermatol. 2007 Dec;143(12):1504-8.

[4] Burgin S, Nummular Eczema, Lichen Simplex Chronicus, and Prurigo Nodularis, Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine, Eighth Edition, 2012.

[5] “Venous Eczema, Gravitational Eczema” DermNet NZ. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.

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