About Eczema and Eczema Treatments
With over 30 million Americans suffering from eczema, it is one of the most common skin conditions in the country. Also referred to as “atopic dermatitis,” presents on the skin as an itchy, red rash. Many people mistake their dry or red skin for eczema, but the only way to get a true diagnosis is to see a dermatology provider. Most forms are defined by an extreme itchiness that plagues the sufferer.
Research shows that eczema is generally a genetic condition, affecting both children and adults alike. There is no definitive cause, but it is linked to the immune system dysfunction and a breakdown of the barrier cells on the skin. While the exact cause remains unknown, we do know certain triggers that can worsen it, including:
- Hot or cold temperatures
- Soaps and detergents
It’s thought to be part of an “atopic triad,” which also includes hay fever and asthma. The sooner you seek out treatment from a dermatology provider, the better off your skin will be.
There are various forms including:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis
Symptoms will vary from person to person and the rash can look different depending on which area of the body it’s affecting. One of the defining characteristics is its intense itch. The common trait is that the skin is red and itchy and may peel, weep or blister. The areas on the body where it is most commonly found are the face, inside the elbows and backs of the knees, though it can really affect anywhere on the body. During a flare up, some people scratch their skin so intensely that it bleeds. This itch-scratch-cycle is what makes it particularly uncomfortable. The most common symptoms include:
- An intense itch
- Inflamed and red skin
- Swollen areas
- Scaling on the skin
- Sensitive skin
- Dry skin
- Patches of rough or darkly colored skin
It’s important to keep in mind that the only way to get a legitimate diagnosis is by seeing a dermatology provider.
Many people will purchase over the counter (OTC) creams, lotions and ointments to treat their flare ups. Some of these medications may contain allergenic or irritating ingredients that will exacerbate your condition. For this reason, it’s imperative to consult with a dermatology provider prior to using any products on your skin. At Schweiger Dermatology Group we will devise a skincare regimen that will safely treat your symptoms. Our effective medications include topical steroids, topical immunomudulators, antibiotics, antifungal and anti-inflammatory drugs. Call 844-DERM-DOC to talk to a dermatology provider about treatment options today.