The Idea of an Essay, Volume 4

Research Writing 199 Eczema: The What, the Who, and the How Kaitlyn Ring Bug bites. They are annoying, and ceaselessly itchy. Just a couple of those can drive a person nutty. Picture this: a boy whose body is covered with these bites. The undeniable course of action is to scratch them. Now in addition to those intensely itching bites, imagine that his skin is very dry. Dry skin is also itchy. His body itches so badly that he just has to scratch it, andbecause he scratched it, it is now very sore and raw. Anything that touches it causes pain, yet it still itches. So he scratches. It is an endless cycle. That is what living with eczema is like. Eczema is an autoimmune disease of the skin, and it affects people of all ages; fortunately, there are a multiple treatment options. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, encompasses several different types of symptoms revolving around skin inflammation. Symptoms vary from person to person, but dry, sensitive skin primarily characterizes eczema (“Eczema”), as well as itchy red or brownish-gray patches, small raised bumps in the affected area, seeping, and possibly “thickened, cracked…scaly skin [or] raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching” (Mayo Clinic). Experts scale eczema severity in three levels: mild, moderate, and severe. It also can be either localized in one area, or widespread across the body (Lawton “Managing Difficult and Severe Eczema in Children” 26). Any combination of these symptoms presents varying degrees of severity, although it is unknown if any play a part in the origin of the disease. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but there are many contributing factors, including environmental and food allergens, as well as Filaggrin proteins. According to Ballardini, genetic Filaggrin (FLG) mutations are possibly major contributors to eczema, though it needs further investigation (588). Filaggrin is a group of proteins that are vital for the skin to work properly (De). It is also becoming more prevalent today, as if one parent has eczema, then their children are fifty percent more likely to manifest