Eczema

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Eczema

Eczema Treatment

Eczema

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by the inflammation, swelling or irritation of the skin. Eczema affects as many as 35 million Americans. Eczema is not dangerous, but it can cause significant discomfort if the skin itches. When that happens, the condition may worsen if the eczema is scratched.

Atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema, is the most common form of eczema and is often found in babies and children. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults will develop atopic eczema.

Causes include:

  • An overreaction to environmental triggers by the body’s immune system
  • Family history of allergies or asthma
  • A defect in the skin which causes it to not properly regulate moisture and germs
  • Irritants – Environmental elements such as soaps, detergents, and certain fabrics
  • Stress – Any form of stress, such as work, family or social issues, can trigger eczema
  • Climate – Dramatic decreases in humidity can trigger eczema and cold, damp conditions can hamper eczema treatments
  • Perspiration
  • Animal dander
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Genetics

The onset of eczema is often characterized by itchiness in the area of the skin that will be visibly affected. Eczema is not contagious and may develop in any other area of the skin as well. When eczema occurs it is characterized by dry, scaly, flaky or thickened skin that is reddish and may turn brown. Conversely, those people with darker skin may see the affected area become lighter in color. Eczema can be cyclical with intermittent flare-ups. Infants most often suffer from eczema on the face and scalp, although like adults, it may appear anywhere.

According to the National Eczema Organization, the most common symptoms of eczema are:

  • Dry, sensitive skin
  • Intense itching
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Recurring rash
  • Scaly areas
  • Rough, leathery patches
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Areas of swelling
  • Dark-colored patches of skin

When symptoms occur, particularly in a repeat eczema incident, treatment results may be accelerated by a visit to a dermatology provider for care. At the California Dermatology Institute, we specialize in the diagnosis and management of eczema. Our dermatology providers offer comprehensive treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs, aiming to alleviate symptoms, reduce flare-ups, and improve overall skin health.

Treatment for eczema typically involves a combination of strategies, including moisturizing the skin, avoiding triggers, using topical corticosteroids or immunomodulators, and practicing good skincare habits. At the California Dermatology Institute, we also provide UVB Phototherapy, a medical treatment that involves the controlled exposure of the skin to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation to manage certain skin conditions. Our dermatology providers will assess the severity of your eczema, identify potential triggers, and develop an individualized treatment plan to help manage your condition effectively.

Additionally, we provide education and support to empower patients and their families in understanding eczema and implementing lifestyle modifications that can contribute to long-term symptom control.

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