Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common skin disease that causes dry, itchy skin. It may appear anywhere on the body, but most commonly appears on the cheeks, hands, elbows, and knees. Eczema may start before the age of two and may resolve by puberty, but extreme cases can last into adulthood. With a good skin care regimen eczema may be managed and controlled, but there is no cure. It is important to identify and eliminate irritants and allergens that trigger flare-ups. Things like soap, chemicals, sweating, certain fabrics, food, weather changes, and stress can be irritants.
Topical steroids may treat the inflamed skin and help alleviate itch. Antihistamines, immune suppressant creams, topical anesthetics and antibiotics may help and be recommended and/or prescribed. It is important not to scratch because scratching causes nerve endings to be further irritated, in turn, increasing the itch. Moisturizers should be used to help prevent flare-ups and to help maintain the skin’s natural hydration, and barrier that is impaired by the eczema.
To schedule an appointment with a board certified dermatologist at Soderstrom Skin Institute, call 1-888-970-7546.