Is Eczema Contagious? – A Common Question
Is eczema contagious? This is a question that every sufferer and those who come into contact with them will ask on a regular basis. And although the question “Is eczema contagious?” is justified especially for people who suffer from it or people who live in close contact with eczema sufferers, the simple answer would be NO, eczema is not contagious.
However, with eczema displaying many characteristics of other contagious diseases, it does lead people to believe that it is a contagious disease.
The symptoms of eczema resemble that of a skin infection, with redness, itching, blisters, weeping, oozing, sores, inflammation and flaking of the skin. The skin protects itself from infection by becoming inflamed and thus producing the symptoms above. The skin becomes inflamed when triggers like cold, stress or irritants thus causing eczema to flare-up. Skin infection is localized to certain areas of the body while eczema changes locations to different places and then appears in those places each time it flares-up.
Eczema can be seen as contagious as it is more prevalent in cold weather as the changes in temperature and humidity occur. It is also a time when warmer clothes are worn and these made usually made from wool which can trigger eczema flare-ups by irritating the skin. Infectious diseases, likes colds, flu and coughs spread during colder weather, as people remain indoors allowing the virus to spread faster. It is common perception that eczema is caused by a virus and thus is infectious too. Hot weather also causes eczema as perspiration can irritate the skin too.
Eczema spreads among children who are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Recently there has been an increase of incidences amongst infants and children. This lead to people believing that eczema is a contagious disease. No known cause has been found for the increase but popular theory is that the increase is related to an incidence of allergy and atopy.
As people who have immune system problems are more prone to allergies, they become more prone to infection. Eczema is also very common in sickly children and adults, especially as their immune systems are weakened. This is another reason eczema is seen to be contagious.
Due to eczema being a genetic disease, it is inherited amongst siblings. This is common when both parents are sufferers or have related diseases like asthma or hay fever. It is also passed from one generation to another as it is genetic. For this reason, many assume that the eczema is a contagious disease.
Eczema can be associated with genetic problems or it may be a result of obesity, HIV infections, and an over-reactive immune system reacts to allergens, greasy skin or extreme dryness.
But really, the bottom-line is that eczema is in fact, HEREDITY, which means it is passed down through the generations. You can be rest assured though that eczema is not contagious!