Pathophysiology of Eczema

Provide an in depth discussion on the pathophysiology of Eczema as it occurs over time. Include signs and symptoms, diagnostic studies and the underlying pathophysiologic process causing the signs and symptoms.

Eczema is a collection of diseases that cause an extreme irritation of the skin. The exact cause of the condition is still unknown, but leading experts such as Donald Y.M Leung now speculate that it is the result of an overactive immune system’s response to allergic irritants. Furthermore, it is also hereditary and may manifest in families where members have a history of allergic reactions. According to Kasper et al. (2018), the primary display of eczema appears in erythematous macules and may lump together to form plaques. 

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Although symptoms of eczema may vary from one individual to another, they are all characterized by constant itching, which may be mild, moderate or extreme. The so-called “itch-scratch cycle” aptly describes the progression from mild to the extreme where sufferers end up inflaming their skin due to the irritation (Rudikoff, Cohen, & Scheinfeld, 2014, p. 76). Individuals suffering from eczema typically have dry sensitive skin, which is usually scarlet and inflamed.  Additionally, black patches appear on the sufferer’s coarse and leathery skin with pus oozing out. These patches often swell and cause a great deal of pain.

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Nevertheless, no diagnostic tests are required when seeking to identify a suspected case of eczema. Medical practitioners usually examine the skin for telltale signs and may then proceed to review an individual’s medical history. Patch testing may also be included as a way of ensuring that other skin diseases are not the cause of the symptoms witnessed.  A complex underlying pathophysiological process causes the signs and symptoms associated with eczema. An extremely inflamed epidermal barrier results in dry skin, which is a common hallmark of the disease. It then allows irritants to enter the skin causing itchiness in the lymphoid tissue

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