Eczema is a very common, chronic skin condition that’s distinguished by irritated, inflamed, and itchy patches of skin. Eczema is not life-threatening but can cause itching, which typically induces scratching that can produce infection—making the condition more serious than a regular rash.
Commonly referred to as dermatitis, the causes of eczema can vary. Dermatitis is believed to occur because of an overactive immune system response, while other theories state that it’s caused by an overly sensitive epidermis. We have several dermatitis treatments available to patients that are prescribed based on the cause of your eczema.
There are many different beliefs about what causes this itchy skin condition. The most common theories include genetics, household products, beauty products, chemicals, certain foods, living organisms (mold, dust mites, etc.), fabrics and the environment.
Atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema) is the most common type of eczema. Genetics, the environment, skin cell renewal rate, and an overactive immune system are all factors that can contribute to atopic dermatitis. Most of our patients experience this particular type of eczema before the age of 5, but it can occur and/or reoccur at any time in life.
Contact dermatitis (contact eczema) develops as an immune response to substances that bother the skin. There are two sub-categories of contact dermatitis: irritant contact dermatitis (i.e., chemicals) and allergic contact dermatitis (i.e., poison ivy). Patients may experience allergic contact dermatitis without actually contacting the substance, making it hard to determine the exact cause.
With the exception of allergic contact dermatitis, which will clear up if the allergen is eliminated, eczema is a condition that is difficult to eliminate completely. However, eczema’s symptoms can be treated as they appear. The most important thing to remember if you suffer from eczema is DO NOT SCRATCH. Scratching can further irritate the skin and can even cause skin breakage that leads to infection. Below are some treatments that may help alleviate your eczema symptoms; although, it’s important to be seen by a dermatologist so they can prescribe the best treatment for your individual needs.
Eczema symptoms may clear up for a while; however, eczema may not ever completely go away, so controlling symptoms is the best treatment goal. Schedule an appointment today with one of our board-certified dermatologists. After taking a close look at your skin condition, they can set up a treatment regimen to suit your needs.
The content on Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s website is intended to educate patients about skin conditions and treatments, but is not to be taken as medical advice. Dermatology Associates of Atlanta is not responsible for any omissions of information or any damages arising from the display of said content. Dermatologic treatment must be determined on a per patient basis by a board certified physician. It is recommended that you obtain assistance from a licensed professional for any treatment questions.