Eczema is a condition that makes your skin irritated and red. It is also known as atopic dermatitis and is an inherited condition often associated with asthma or seasonal allergies. The cause of eczema is thought to be a hyper-reactive immune system. Eczema is common in children, affecting 10-20% of infants. Many children outgrow the symptoms by age 10, but others can have intermittent flares throughout life.
Treatments and proper skin care at home can lessen symptoms and prevent new outbreaks.
What are some of the risk factors? Why treat eczema?
- Individuals with eczema are more likely to have bacterial infections of the skin.
- There is an increased tendency for allergic skin reactions to perfume, skin care products, wool clothing, and costume jewellery. We offer patch testing if there are symptoms that suggest an allergic reaction.
- Children with eczema are more likely to have food allergies. We recommend testing for children if there has been a history of reactions to food
What can you do to reduce flare-ups?
- Apply moisturizer daily to the face and body after showers on damp skin.
- Use gentle soaps and cleansers and hypoallergenic moisturizers We offer products such as the Avene facial products and Lipikar Baume for the body that are especially formulated for eczema sufferers.
- For hand eczema , use hand cream after hand washing and wear gloves for housework
- Avoid sudden temperature changes
When should you see a dermatologist?
- Your skin is so itchy that you are losing sleep or scratching all day
- You’ve tried over the counter moisturizers and cortisone with no relief
- You have signs of infection- scabs, pustules, warm and red
How is eczema treated?
The goal of eczema treatment in our practice is to relieve symptoms and resolve flare ups as quickly as possible to avoid long term damage to the skin. Prescription strength topical cortisone is the primary treatment, used only until the flare-up is resolved. Topical immune modulators are a newer type of cream that can be used for milder flare-ups or for maintenance. Severe flare-ups may require a short course of oral steroids, oral anti-histamines for itching and in some cases antibiotics for skin infection.
For more information on eczema http://www.skincarephysicians.com/eczemanet/