Making the Itch Go Away
Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a non-contagious skin disease that usually develops very early in life. Eczema is very common as it is estimated that over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema. It is rare for eczema to appear for the first time as an adult. Symptoms of eczema include a rash that appears suddenly and makes the skin dry, scaly, and itchy. Eczema tends to come and go, often without warning.
What Causes Eczema?
There is no definitive known cause for eczema as researchers are still studying what causes the disease. Studies do suggest that:
- It runs in families
- Foods do not cause it
- Food allergies can make it worse
How is Eczema Diagnosed?
To diagnose atopic dermatitis (AD), a dermatologist begins by looking at the child’s skin. The dermatologist will look for a rash. The dermatologist also will ask questions. It is important for the dermatologist to know whether the child has itchy skin. The dermatologist also needs to know whether blood relatives have had AD, asthma, or hay fever.
Sometimes a dermatologist will perform an allergy patch test. This medical test is used to find allergies. It involves placing tiny amounts of allergens (substances that cause allergies for some people) on the child’s skin. The dermatologist will check the skin for reactions. Checks are often done after a few hours, 24 hours, and 72 hours. Studies suggest that some allergens can make AD worse.
How is Eczema Treated?
At The Dermatology Center, our dermatologists will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Most treatment plans consist of:
- Skin Care
- Medical therapies
- Tips to avoid flare-ups
It is important to follow the treatment plan prescribed by the dermatologist. Too often, people try to treat eczema on their own by avoiding what they believe is causing the eczema. The truth is no one thing can control eczema. Successfully managing this condition requires following a treatment plan.
What Treatments are Used to Control Eczema?
Many treatments can help control eczema. Treatments that a dermatologist many recommend include:
- Calcineurin Inhibitor – This prescription medicine is applied to the skin to reduce inflammation and other symptoms.
- Antibiotic – If your child develops an infection, an antibiotic either taken by mouth or applied to the skin, can kill the bacteria causing the infection.
- Phototherapy – If stronger treatment is needed, this light therapy may be added to the treatment plan.
- Systemic Immunomodulatory Agents – When a client has not responded to other treatments, our dermatologists may consider and explain the risks and benefits of other medicines that are stronger.
Why See a Dermatologist?
Dermatologists specialize in treating skin conditions. Let them help you make the informed decision to control your Eczema. To learn more about Eczema, contact The Dermatology Center today to speak with one of our dermatologists.