Beat The Itch: Treatment and Prevention of Eczema
posted by Dermatology | April 7, 2017
Eczema, a group of conditions that causes irritation or inflammation of the skin, affects between 10 and 20 percent of infants, and around 3 percent of children and adults in the United States.
The most common form of eczema is called atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema, and it is connected to the development of other allergic conditions like hay fever and asthma. With the right treatment, many people are able to successfully manage the symptoms of eczema.
Symptoms of atopic eczema can include:
Several factors can make eczema symptoms even worse. People with atopic eczema, typically have bacteria on their skin called Staphylococcus aureus. If the skin has been broken, the staph bacteria multiply and cause an intensification of symptoms, especially in children. Other factors that can worsen symptoms of eczema include:
If these symptoms become so uncomfortable that it causes sleep loss or distraction from daily tasks, see your doctor. You should also seek medical attention if you’re in severe pain, if you have an infection, or if you’re worried your vision is being affected.
The exact cause of eczema remains unknown, though it’s likely related to the body’s natural response to certain irritants or allergens. Certain factors that appear to play a role include:
Diagnosing eczema requires a visual examination and questions about your symptoms. Your doctor may perform other allergy tests, since many people with eczema also have a higher risk of allergies.
Because atopic eczema can be persistent, treatment for eczema is aimed to relieve pain and itching, and prevent infection. Your doctor might recommend the following medications:
Many patients with eczema also find success with other therapies such as:
If your infant has eczema, treatment focuses on avoiding irritations and extreme temperatures, and frequently lubricating the baby’s skin. If rashes persist, speak to your doctor right away.
Here are a few tips to help prevent flare-ups and reduce symptoms:
Although there are many steps you can take to treat and prevent eczema, not every option may be the right fit for your case. There are several different approaches to eczema management out there and not all evidence of these approaches is conclusive, so it’s important to make an informed decision with your dermatologist. If you are considering a new method of treatment to relieve symptoms of eczema, consult your doctor for a plan that’s best for you.
“Skin Conditions and Eczema.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/atopic-dermatitis-eczema#1
“Atopic dermatitis (eczema).” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eczema/basics/definition/con-20032073
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.