What is Eczema?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a condition that causes itchy inflammation of the skin. It most commonly develops in early childhood and is more common in those who have a family history of eczema. While this condition commonly appears on the arms and behind the knees, it can appear anywhere on the body. Eczema is a chronic condition and tends to flare repeatedly over time.
There are a wide variety of signs and symptoms associated with eczema, including:
- Dry skin.
- Itching, which may be severe.
- Small, raised bumps that may leak fluid.
- Thick, cracked, or scaly skin.
- Red or brown patches of skin.
- Raw, sensitive, swollen skin.
Eczema Treatment Options
While there is currently no cure for eczema, there are a number of treatments that can be used to relieve symptoms and prevent new outbreaks. These include:
Corticosteroid creams: These are often prescribed for mild eczema, and help to reduce the inflammation in the skin, reducing symptoms.
Calcineurin inhibitors: These treatments calm the immune system to reduce symptoms.
Phototherapy: This involves exposing the affected area to controlled amounts of artificial or natural light and is available at alternative clinics and the hospital setting. This therapy is not available at DermAtelier on Avenue, but is found at some hospitals and private offices.
Injectable dupilumab (Dupixent): This injectable prescription treatment is most commonly used for stubborn or severe disease.It curbs the immune system over-reaction that causes eczema.
There are also lifestyle habits that patients can try to help manage their dermatitis. These may include:
Moisturizing the skin: Keeping the skin moisturized regularly can help with symptoms. Moisturizers with a high humectant content tend to work best.
Wear cotton clothing: Smooth, cotton or silk clothing can help patients avoid irritating the skin.
Avoid scratching: Scratching will only make symptoms worse. Cotton clothing or a cool water wrap to cover the itchy area can help resist scratching.
Use OTC anti-inflammation products: Over-the-counter oral antihistamines may also help to reduce awareness of itch.
There is also the non-prescription based option to undergo light therapy such as phototherapy with NB UVB.
Dr. Beach will work with you to determine the best treatment option for your lifestyle and your needs.
Who is a Good Candidate for Eczema Treatment?
Eczema can be persistent, flaring up repeatedly over an individual’s lifetime. If your eczema is causing you discomfort or pain and is negatively impacting your daily life, then you can benefit from eczema treatments. To best determine which treatment option is best for you, please contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Beach.
What to Expect After Eczema Treatment?
After consistent use of eczema treatment, patients should be able to see an improvement in their symptoms and the physical appearance of their outbreaks. Treatment may also extend the time between outbreaks, making everyday life more comfortable and enjoyable.