Eczema is a term that is broadly applied to a number of various skin conditions that are characterized by red and irritated skin which occasionally ends up as tiny fluid-filled bumps that ooze liquid. In children, the most common cause of eczema is atopic dermatitis, also called infantile eczema. It occurs in both infants and older children. Children who have from eczema usually have family members who suffer from allergies such as asthma and high fever. Some experts believe that these children are genetically inclined to have eczema. Nearly half of children who get eczema will develop high fever or asthma themselves in the future. However, eczema in kids is also set off by environmental triggers such as excessive heat. Eczema Signs and Symptoms The signs and symptoms and symptoms usually appear within a few months after birth, often before the age of five. Fortunately, more than half of the children who have eczema today will not have it anymore by the time they reach their teens. Eczema symptoms are hugely varied in its early stages. Kids between the age of 2 and 6 months develop dry, itchy, red skin. Small bumps may appear on their forehead, scalp and cheeks. Sometimes the rash can spread to your baby s hands, legs and trunk. Round, itchy, scaly, slightly raised rashes may develop on the back of the wrist and ankles, behind the knees or on the bends of elbows. Crusted or open lesions may also develop on affected areas. The rashes get less watery as children get older. The rashes become scalier and extremely dry and itchy. Eczema symptoms have a tendency to get worse before improving on time. Flare ups also do occur from time to time. It is difficult to tell just how long eczema lasts. In several cases, eczema goes into remission and its symptoms vanish completely for several months or even years. Eczema symptoms are also known to improve for a long period of time only to resurface during the start of puberty. This may be due to hormones, the use of harsh skin products and cosmetics, stress as well as other factors that experts are still trying to pinpoint. Also, some kids who develop eczema may get some level of dermatitis as adults and experience itching and have dry, scaly skin in some areas. Eczema is not contagious as some people might think so you need not keep you child away from a sibling or other family member who has eczema. Treating Eczema There are a number of treatments available that can be used to cure eczema and/or alleviate its symptoms. The most widely used are topical corticosteroids. Corticosteroids also called cortisone or steroid are creams or ointments that are used to locally treat a number of inflammatory skin problems including eczema. Topical corticosteroids for eczema typically contain hydrocortisone which is similar to corticosteroid cortisol that is naturally-occurring. Topical corticosteroids do not actually cure eczema since they do not affect that actual underlying cause of this skin disorder. Rather, they curb the inflammation in the skin that triggers eczema flare-ups and as thus, alleviate other symptoms that include itching and redness. However, it is important to consult your pediatrician before applying corticosteroid to your baby s skin. It is also crucial to use corticosteroids for as long as your doctor recommends. Corticosteroids come in varying strength and applying a fairly strong corticosteroid may damage your baby s sensitive skin. If your baby has sensitive skin, there are non-steroid medications out in the market right now.
Frequently Asked Questions
Graves Disease: does one always have thyroid antibodies?
I have/had Graves Disease and was treated with radioactive iodine in 2005. Recently I was tested for thyroid antibodies and this came back negative. Does a person usually have thyroid antibodies with Graves Disease? Thanks for answers.
If one doesn't have thyroid tissue anymore...due to radioactive iodine treatment or removal would the thyroid antibodies still be present?
These are can go up and down; 5 percent of Grave's disease patient's do not have elevated TSI antibodies
Should I be taking thyroid medication with my numbers slightly elevated?
I just got the results from a thyroid test and my free T3 is 3.0, my free T4 is 1.1 and my TSH is 3.1. I just started with a new doctor and I'm afraid to start taking the thyroid medication since you have to take it for the rest of your life. Can the medication harm me if I do not have thyroid problems?
I suggest getting you thyroid antibodies checked chances are you have Hashimoto thyroiditis. Have your doctor do a simple blood test to check many doctors dont check because they say it 'wont change how they treat you' but that is a sign that the doctor is not up to date on current studies. Check out Dr. Kharrazian. He has a great book and website loaded with information.
A normal thyroid would not be elevated at all, your levels are. If you start meds they will test your levels again in about 6 weeks if your dont need the medication your blood work will show that. But yes if you have hashimoto or hypothyroidism like your tests indicate then you will be on thyroid hormone replacements the rest of your life. Do your self a favor and ask for natural thyroid medication, It will save you time and hastle since synthetics dont work for many people anymore and the doctor will make you feel like its your fault or like your crazy when you tell him its not working.
What if your thyroid levels are normal and you are still depressed?
My levels we're way off before but now I'm taking medication and the doctors say my levels are fine but my depression is very much the same.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is hashimoto's thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism). This condition causes genetic issues with vitamin D absorption. To confirm hashimoto's - thyroid antibodies tests (TPO - elevated in 90% of hashimoto's patients and TgAb) will be higher than normal. Low vitamin D levels are well known to cause depression. Anyone with hashimoto's thyroiditis is recommended to take between 5000 - 20 000 IU of vitamin D daily.
Deficiencies commonly seen with hypothyroidism are vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium. Low levels of vitamin B12 can also lead to depression.
T4 synthetic medication doesn't address the antibodies attacking the thyroid and many find they do not get rid of their symptoms with a T4 only medication. Some feel better on a combination of T4 and T3 synthetic medication and others feel better on natural desiccated thyroid extract. 200mcg of selenium daily (supplements or a few brazil nuts) has shown in studies to lowers TPO antibodies and a gluten free diet also lowers thyroid antibodies. Natural desiccated thyroid extract can lower antibodies if high enough. An excerpt from Stop The Thyroid Madness....
"And what do uninformed doctors do for the symptoms you continue to have on T4-only meds? They put you on anti-depressants, statins, pain meds, and all sorts of bandaid medications to cover the effects of a poor thyroid treatment chronic low grade depression, high cholesterol, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome , Fibromyalgia , bi-polar, anxiety, hair loss to name just a few. When you mention your poor energy levels, they tell you to exercise more. When you mention your weight problems, they tell you to eat less.
And the worst thing they ll say when you continue to have symptoms of a thyroid disorder? It s not your thyroid. Your TSH is normal, and you re optimally treated. That, friends, is not so and has lead most all thyroid patients into continuing agony and self-doubt." >>> http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work/
What causes someone to break out in hives?
.....I've been breaking out in hives lately on my arms, especially during emotional distress, anyone know the causes?
Uticaria, Angioedema & Anaphylaxis, Hives
Since the beginning of September I have been suffering from severe hives, angioedema, fatigue and have had 2 anaphylaxis incidents. I have had a battery of blood tests which were all normal. Background to the severe onset of these symptoms is that I have been having swollen hands in the a.m. since March and elevated Blood Pressures since this summer.
As a result of all this, I have been diagnosed with Chronic Uticaria and Angioedema. I am taking the followign medications b.i.d. in order to try to control the hives:
In addition I take Terbutaline Sulf. 3 times a day (which makes my whole body shake). I've also taken three courses of steriods (Medrol Pack).
Still after all this medication, the hives seem to be worsening. I wake up in the morning covered with hives. I have started taking a 3rd dose of medication in the middle of the night. It's as if my body is building up resistence to the meds.
My doctor's tell me that 90% of the time a person with chronic hives never knows the cause. That most of the time it is a reaction to one's own self rather than an environmental cause. That the goal is merely to treat the symptoms and try to survive until they one day decide to turn off.
My family wants me to fly out of Alaska (where I live) to seek additional medical attention. They want me to see an Immuniologist or other medical specialist. I have already spent thousands of dollars trying to rememdy this problem.
My question is: Should I accept this diagnosis and only work to control the hives and other symptoms or is it worth the expense or further investigation? If I should be seeking additional medical attention, what kind of doctor's should I see?
Dr. Roby Answers:
The 90% of people who never learn the cause of their hives simply were never instructed in how to determine the causes. Everything has a cause. I think the primary thing you need to examine is the hormone changes you have undergone in the last few years. You should also try the Atkins' diet as well as avoiding the likely foods contributing to the problem as outlined in the food allergy section of my site.
See my section on "Hormone Imbalance" on the website. Many types of allergy have their basis in hormone reactions. This is particularly of ladies who experience increasing symptoms as they undergo hormone changes, usually in their late twenties or after the babies are born.
Check out that section and let me know how those characteristics apply to you and then I can get more specific. You may find some useful areas to explore in your search for medical solutions. Areas such as dietary changes, low level exercise and alternative approaches to solving medical problems. The lab tests are outlined there (get DHEA, estradiol and testosterone levels, also Thyroid and AM cortisol-all non-fasting, and finally Progesterone Antibodies for IgG and IgM). All these are available at any commercial lab. If your doctor won't order them let me know and I will.
After I see your lab results and you see the areas under hormone imbalance that apply to you, then we can discuss your treatment options.
What does these test results mean? I received a letter from my doctor and this is what is said?
T4 (Thyroxine), Total 13.4
T4, Free 157
T3, Total 5.8
Please help by explaining.
Knowing your TSH level would be helpful.
# Find out your thyroid test results from your doctor's office.
# If you can, get a hard copy printout for your own review and home medical files.
# If "normal" or "reference" ranges are not indicated on the lab results, ask your doctor's office to tell you what these ranges are.
# Note the level of your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). At most labs in the U.S., up until late 2002, the normal range is from around 0.5 to 5.5. That range changed to .3 to 3 as of early 2003.
# If the TSH level is below normal, your doctor may determine that you are hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid.)
# If the TSH level is above normal, your doctor may determine that you are hypothyroid (underactive thyroid.)
# If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a low reading, and a high TSH, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
# If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a low reading, and a low TSH, your doctor might look into a pituitary problem.
# If your doctor ran a test called Free T4, or Free Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 0.7 to 2.0. If your result was less than 0.7, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
# If your doctor ran a test called Total T3, normal range is approximately 80 to 220. If your result was less than 80, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
# If your doctor ran a test called Free T3, normal range is approximately 2.3 to 4.2. If your result was less than 2.3, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
# If your test results come back "normal" but you have many of the symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, make sure you ask for an antibodies test. Some doctors believe in treating thyroid symptoms in the presence of elevated antibodies and normal TSH levels.
# If your test results come back "normal" but you have many of the symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, consider going to a reputable holistic M.D. or alternative physician for further interpretation and diagnosis.