About Eczema Treatments
Cypress, TX board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Anthony Nikko, recommends patients to contact him immediately when any symptoms of eczema appear to avoid infection. Eczema is a broad term that refers to various conditions of the skin that cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, redness and/or itchiness. There are several types of eczema that should be diagnosed by a dermatologist to determine the proper treatment. Eczema is caused by various factors, such as outdoor elements, chemical products, and food sensitivities. Unfortunately, through self-diagnosis and improper treatments, these skin conditions tend to worsen.
Types of Inflammation
Atopic dermatitis on infant skin is a long-lasting, sometimes chronic condition. Regardless of race or gender, atopic dermatitis is a breakout on the outer layer of the skin with unknown triggers. We can treat this condition with skin treatments by rehydrating dry skin, and minimizing the risk of a infection of broken skin.
If you are extra sensitive to soaps, metals, fabrics, foods, plants and even sunlight exposure, you may have experienced contact dermatitis. This type of irritation of the skin is best treated with avoidance along with your dermatologist's suggestions after examination.
Eczema on the palm of the hands, side of fingers and soles of the feet is commonly known as dyshidrotic dermatitis. It presents as an itchy, blistering rash and is especially bothersome in warm weather.
When your emotions rise, you may experience an itchy skin condition known as neurodermatitis. Severe scratching will leave the skin raw, red, and scaly. It is important to seek treatment and try not to scratch.
The medical community suspects that an allergy to metal may be the cause of nummular dermatitis. You can recognize nummular dermatitis by its round or oval shaped rash on the legs, arms, hands, and torso. With the proper dermatology treatment, nummular dermatitis may be healed.
If you are constantly in contact with irritants on your skin at work, such as latex gloves, you may have occupational dermatitis. Your dermatologist can determine if you have this type of dermatitis and recommend a treatment specific to your needs.
Seborrheic dermatitis appears as dandruff or dry flakes usually in the scalp, forehead area or behind the ears. These patches of dry, irritated skin usually appear in infants up to 6 months who are getting used to the outside climate or individuals with oily hair and skin. Although anti-dandruff shampoos are recommended, Dr. Nikko can better assess the skin for a treatment.
Elderly people are susceptible to stasis dermatitis, or venous dermatitis, a condition in people with poor circulation, varicose veins, and edema. When the lower legs swell, a patient with stasis dermatitis will also have itchy, red patches on their skin.
Symptoms of Eczema
Eczema is most commonly characterized by dry, itchy or red skin, as well as persistent rashes. Usually, a patient’s skin will begin to itch before a rash appears. Most patients will experience patches of skin that are chronically itchy, dry or thickened. These patches can appear anywhere, but mostly occur on the face, neck, hands or legs. With children, patches can appear on the inner creases of the knees and elbows. Once the skin is scratched, dry patches, as well as open sores with crust, could develop which could become infected. Severe symptoms could include pus-filled blisters or a yellowish to light-brown crust developing over existing eczema patches, which could be a sign of a bacterial infection.
What Causes Eczema?
Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes eczema but it’s believed to be triggered by several factors. Immune system abnormalities, genetics, environment, skin irritants and skin barrier defects are the most common causes. Family genetics play a role where certain genes can cause patients to have extremely sensitive skin. A patient with relatives who suffer from asthma or hay fever is at a higher risk of developing eczema. Contact with certain fabrics and soaps, cold, dry climates, heat and sweat and even stress can trigger eczema symptoms. Defects in the skin barrier can allow germs in and moisture out which can also lead to flare-ups.
Treatment for Eczema
Eczema can be treated with a range of over-the-counter or prescribed medication and ointments. Hydrocortisone creams and ointments can be bought, as well as antihistamines, such as Benadryl, to help relieve symptoms. Prescription medications such as steroid creams or immunomodulators may help those with severe eczema. An oral steroid, or corticosteroid, may also be prescribed. In extreme cases, ultraviolet light therapy or laser treatment may also be applied to the affected areas. When other treatments have failed, immunosuppressants may be prescribed since these drugs suppress the immune system.
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Get Control of Your Eczema!
Whether you have suffered from eczema for years with little to no relief or have just noticed an itchy rash and a difference in your skin, there are numerous treatment options available. Employing a multi-level treatment approach of care, which includes prevention, detection and treatment, allows our patients to not only manage their eczema, but also notice a significant decrease in symptoms.