Eczema is a term that refers to dry, irritated, itchy skin. When it occurs in childhood it is generally referred to as atopic dermatitis. Eczema takes many forms ranging from generalized atopic dermatitis, to dyshidrotic eczema (blisters and itching on the hands and feet), to nummular eczema (coin-like circular patches occurring in excessively dry skin). In general, eczema is not caused by an allergy but results from a defect in the skin barrier resulting in inflammation.
Many people with eczema are genetically prone to the condition. Skin that is overly dry or sensitive is more likely to develop eczema. Those with a personal or family history of eczema, allergies, hay fever or asthma are at a greater risk of developing this condition. Many patients notice that stress or weather changes aggravate their eczema.
While there is no cure for eczema, most people can manage their symptoms using medical treatments and avoiding known triggers.
Over-the-counter moisturizers and prescription corticosteroid creams and ointment can help with inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams can be useful for long-term control.
For severe cases, systemic medications can be very effective for controlling the itch and rash of eczema. Our dermatologist will work with you to seek out lasting treatment options.
If you’re interested in learning more about our dermatology services, or are ready to schedule a consultation, request an appointment online or give us a call at (713) 328-0826.