If you suffer from eczema, you’re not alone. An estimated ten to 20 percent of people worldwide have this itchy skin condition. Although there is no cure for eczema, if you have it, it is important to work closely with your dermatologist to control your symptoms. What exactly is eczema, and what can you do about it if you have it? Here is what you need to know.
Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is an inflammatory skin condition marked by a red, itchy rash. In most patients, it appears before age 5. Some people outgrow eczema, while others experience flare-ups throughout life. The exact cause of eczema is not known. It tends to run in families. Many people with eczema also have allergic diseases, such as asthma and hay fever. In fact, 80 percent of children with eczema also have hay fever, according to the National Eczema Foundation.
Itchy skin and a rash are the main symptoms of eczema. The rash takes different forms in different people. In some cases, the skin is simply red. Other patients experience scaly skin, rashes with sores that ooze, swelling, and dark splotches. Intense itching is common with eczema rashes. Scratching can intensify symptoms, since it damages the skin and triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals.
When you have an eczema rash, your dermatologist can treat the itching with a two to three week course of antihistamines and topical steroids. After your dermatologist treats the rash, he or she will help you control your eczema with lifestyle changes. It is important to figure out what triggers your eczema so you can reduce flare-ups. Perfumed soaps and detergents, certain foods, hot baths, and tight clothing can all spark eczema rashes.
Your dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery can help you conquer your eczema symptoms and break the cycle of flare-ups. We also offer medical and cosmetic dermatology services to help you look and feel your best. Find out more about our dermatology services and make an appointment by calling (866) 608-9531.