Eczema is a skin condition caused by inflammation of the skin that can be a chronic condition for some people. It can appear on any part of the body and causes it to become itchy, red, dry, and even cracked and leathery. Eczema typically shows up on the hands, neck, face, and legs. In children, the inner creases of the knees and elbows are often involved. Eczema comes in many forms. Some types of eczema can cause scaling, fluid-filled blisters, and cracking. Severely affected skin may develop painful, deep cracks, also called fissures.
Atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, causes dry, sensitive skin. It often appears in infants and toddlers who may “grow out of it” by school age. Contact dermatitis, another common type of eczema, is a localized skin reaction to an allergen or irritant, causing redness, inflammation, and intense itching. Other types of eczema appear on the lower legs, on the palms and soles of the feet as small itchy blisters, or on the scalp as waxy, yellowish, scaly patches of skin. Eczema is a genetic condition that runs in families. Certain genes can cause some people to have extra-sensitive skin, and an overactive immune system is thought to be a factor, as well. Factors that may trigger eczema include:
Eczema should not be self-diagnosed. An appointment with a doctor will allow them to check your skin and discuss your symptoms, your health history, and any rashes or allergies that run in your family. People with eczema have a higher risk of developing allergic conditions like asthma or hay fever.
Regular treatment can bring relief and may also reduce the severity and duration of eczema. Your dermatologist can prescribe external medications such as cortisone creams, ointments, or lotions. Internal medications such as antihistamines may help alleviate the itch. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed if there is also a secondary infection. Patch testing is an option for some cases of contact dermatitis. Good skin care is key to treating eczema, but if your symptoms are more severe, or your doctor decides you need meds to treat your eczema, he may prescribe:
For more information on eczema, contact the office or stop by today.