What is eczema?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes your skin to become inflamed, red, and itchy. While common in babies, eczema can become a life-long condition that causes persistent episodes of inflammation, known as eczema flare-ups.
In healthy skin, you have a barrier of moisture that protects you from allergens and bacteria. When you have eczema, likely the result of a genetic variation, your skin doesn’t have this protective barrier.
When an allergen or irritant makes contact with your skin, your immune system reacts by triggering inflammation and redness in the skin.
What are the symptoms of eczema?
The symptoms of eczema can vary and eczema flare-ups can range from mild to severe. The most common eczema symptoms include:
- Dry skin
- Cracked skin
- Chronic itchiness
- Scaly, discolored skin patches
You can also develop small, raised bumps that leak a clear fluid when scratched open. If left untreated, open wounds can increase your risk for an infection.
These symptoms not only interfere with usual activities, but they can also make you feel embarrassed about the physical appearance of your skin.
How is eczema treated?
The medical team at Advanced Allergy & Asthma can diagnose eczema through a physical exam and a review of your medical history. They may also perform in-office allergy tests to better understand your skin contact sensitivity to certain substances. Often food allergy drives eczema. Sometimes allergy to inhaled materials drives eczema. Identification and treatment of their triggers are essential.
To treat recurrent eczema flare-ups, your Advanced Allergy & Asthma specialist may recommend medicated creams to reduce skin inflammation, control itchiness, and prevent infection. If your eczema flare-ups are the result of contact with certain allergens, you may also need allergy medications or immunotherapy.
In addition to the topical medications, it’s important that you keep your skin well hydrated by drinking lots of water and by applying a high-quality moisturizer to the affected area several times a day.
The Advanced Allergy & Asthma team also provides comprehensive resources to help you cope with the symptoms and the appearance of your skin. They work closely with you to identify the triggers of your eczema flare-ups, so you can make the necessary changes in your life to reduce the likelihood and severity of future flare-ups.
If you need help managing your symptoms of eczema, schedule a consultation at Advanced Allergy & Asthma today using the online booking feature or by calling the office.