Eczema is an extremely common condition that dermatologists treat in the office on a daily basis. It affects mostly young children, with most growing out of the condition by puberty. There is a significant group of people who have persistent disease into adulthood.
Intense itching (pruritus) is the main symptom associated with this condition. Some have renamed eczema as “the itch that rashes.” Eczema-like skin is dry (xerotic) and sensitive, requiring constant attention and care. Thankfully your Advanced Dermatology medical provider has extensive training in helping patients with this devastation condition.
Q: Why does eczema occur?
A: Eczema has several factors that cause it to flare, including genetic and environmental components. The most problematic issue with eczema is the “itch-scratch cycle”, where the itch sensation causes scratching, which in turn leads to more itching. Breaking that cycle is crucial to keeping control and preventing flares.
Q: Can I do anything to help prevent flares?
A: Avoiding certain environmental and physiologic triggers associated with flares and meticulous skin care is crucial to every successful treatment plan. Irritants (such as harsh soaps and juices), allergens (such as pets, pollens, dust mites and molds), foods (such as dairy, eggs, nuts and soy), certain temperatures (hot weather, high or low humidity, and perspiration), stress and hormones are some of the more common triggers to avoid.
Q: What treatment options are available for my eczema?
A: Therapy depends on the severity, symptoms, disability and patient preference. First-line treatments include lifestyle changes and over-the-counter therapies. Prescription-strength therapies include topical medications (mainly topical steroids), light-based treatments, oral medications (including steroids, antibiotics, anti-histamines and immunosuppressants) and alternative/natural therapies. Lastly, there are several treatments currently being investigated in clinical trials for eczema. Make an appointment today with your provider and get your eczema under control.