Eczema, also called dermatitis, refers to variety of skin conditions, according to Medline Plus. Eczema is not a dangerous or contagious skin condition, but it typically causes red, swollen and itchy skin. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, an allergic condition that makes the skin dry and itchy. Eczema has no known cure, but the symptoms can be reduced by avoiding irritants and stress.
Hypothyroidism can cause itchy skin or eczema, according to the MayoClinic.com. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroxine and triiodothyronine, hormones that manage metabolism, control body temperature, influence heart rate and regulate the production of protein. It usually occurs when blood circulation is reduced due to low thyroid levels. In advanced cases of hypothyroidism, the skin may receive as little as one-fourth to one-fifth of its normal blood supply, according to Eczema-natural-healing.com. Reduced circulation can prevent the blood from providing nourishment and completely removing waste products from the bloodstream, resulting in itchy, blistering, oozing and scaling patches of skin.
A common cause of eczema is celiac disease, according to Medline Plus. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the lining of the small intestine is damaged, preventing it from absorbing nutrients from food. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products that contain gluten, their immune system reacts by damaging parts of the small intestine. Gluten is a consituent in wheat, barley, rye and oats. People with celiac disease may experience itchy skin or dermatitis over time, due to the inability of the intestines to absorb important vitamins, minerals and other parts of food needed to keep the skin healthy. This disease may appear at any point in life, from infancy to adulthood. People who have a family member with celiac disease are at greater risk for developing the disease.
Meleda disease can cause the dry, thick skin associated with eczema, according to New York’s St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. Meleda is a very rare genetic skin disorder that is triggered by an autosomal recessive trait and consists of dry, thick patches of skin that develop on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The affected skin may be unusually red and abnormally scaly. Children with meleda disease may exhibit various nail abnormalities, excessive sweating associated with an unpleasant odor and/or small, firm, raised lesions.