Degenerative eczemaDas AbnutzungsekzemLa dermite d'usureNedslidningseksemObrabni ekcemHet degeneratief eczeemL-ekżema deġenerattiva

The degenerative eczema (cumulative-subtoxic contact dermatitis)

The frequently repeated (cumulative) contact with skin-irritating (subtoxic) substances leads to an actual “degeneration” of the skin and to a weakening of the skin barrier. Irritant substances are marked, but water, shampoo, skin cleaning agents, colouring agents or styling products are irritant substances which you use daily. 

The degenerative eczema develops in three phases through the long-term repeated effects of one or more irritant substances. Through repeated irritation of the skin, various repair mechanisms of the epidermis and dermis are overwhelmed.   

In the first phase the water-lipid film (acid skin mantle) is removed by, for example, a single washing of the hands—with the result that the cornified layer is exposed. The skin stretches and feels lusterless. The reconstruction of the natural acid skin mantle takes hours. 

With constant new irritation the damage increases so that in the second phase, the natural fats of the cornified layer are released. Through this process the cornified layer becomes permeable to various professional products. 

When professional products actually infiltrate the skin, they encounter the “security guards” of the outer skin there. These are special defense cells of the immune system, the so-called beta or “Langerhans” cells. The “Langerhans guards” fight off the professional products. In the third phase, as a result, an inflammatory reaction of the skin ensues. A degenerative eczema emerges. The skin reacts with inflammation, to protect itself from the invading foreign—and possibly harmful—substances, and to warn you! 

That means that a degenerative eczema does not develop suddenly, but is rather the result of a long process, which you can influence! How does that work? You can, for example, avoid where possible skin-damaging contacts, or use skin protection- and skin care creams regularly, to thus support the regeneration of the skin! 

The care and protection of your skin are well worth the trouble. Because only an intact skin barrier can reliably protect you from an allergy.                                

When the barrier of the cornified layer is damaged, a degenerative eczema can lead to an infection or to a sensitization (emergence of an allergy) to certain substances (allergens).