Eczema can be moderate or severe and start in childhood, adolescence, or older adulthood. Newborns might develop eczema weeks or months after birth. Young children with eczema can have dry and itchy skin that can develop into blisters and skin infections. Adults might get eczema in their 20s or 50s.
Comorbidities or "associated health conditions" refer to the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or illnesses in your body. There are several documented comorbidities among people with eczema, particularly those with atopic dermatitis. In fact, eczema increases the risk of getting another skin condition.
Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center knows the debilitating nature of conditions like eczema and its health complications. Our expert team has offices in Kingsport and Johnson City, Tennessee, and Abingdon, Virginia, to help you manage eczema and prevent complications by identifying the causes of painful flare-ups.
Secondary infections with pathogens are common in eczema because the skin has little to counteract previous damage. Furthermore, complications can occur as eczema progresses. Skin infections develop most frequently because damaged skin gives pathogens an easy entry point.
1. Bacterial infections
Staphylococci is a bacteria that causes pus formation in the skin and mucous membranes. According to the National Association of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 60-90% of people with eczema probably have staph bacteria on their skin, which can cause infection.
Bacterial skin infections may cause:
- Yellow crust
Our team might prescribe an antibiotic to ease discomfort and eliminate bacterial infections.
Cellulitis is another bacterial infection that gets deep into your skin. Symptoms include:
- Warm and tender skin
Cellulitis infections require antibiotics, and in some cases, you may need to visit a hospital to get medicine through an IV.
2. Viral infections
Eczema herpeticum is a viral infection triggered by the herpes simplex 1 virus. It’s more common in infants, young children, and those with severe eczema. In extreme cases, there’s a risk of death, especially for children and people with weak immune systems.
The herpes simplex 1 virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact. The signs of eczema herpeticum include red, fluid-filled blisters on the face and neck, although they can appear elsewhere, such as the hands. It can take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear after the first contact with the herpes simplex virus.
Other signs of eczema herpeticum include:
- Itchy and painful clusters of small blisters
- Red, black, or purple blisters
- Oozing blisters
- Swollen lymph glands
If you suspect you might have eczema herpeticum, call Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center immediately.
Eczema is part of a group of allergic conditions known as the “atopic march,” which includes asthma, hay fever, and food allergies.
Eczema complications can trigger allergies and symptoms such as:
- Itchy nose, eyes, mouth, or skin
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Sore Throat
Eczema is also linked to food allergies. Almost 15% of children with eczema have a food allergy. Peanuts, eggs, milk, soy, and wheat are common food allergies. Symptoms usually appear within 30 minutes of eating or breathing in a food allergen and can include:
- Itchy mouth
- Swollen lips
- Stomach cramps
- Drop in blood pressure
Approximately 20% of adults with eczema also have asthma, an allergic condition that causes airways to become inflamed, swollen, and narrow. Asthma usually appears in childhood and can continue throughout life.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent flare-ups and avoid eczema triggers.
Call Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center today if you’re concerned about health complications associated with eczema. We can help. We’re conveniently located in Kingsport and Johnson City, Tennessee, and Abingdon, Virginia.