Eczema

eczema

Eczema

Eczema (or Atopic Dermatitis) is a very general skin condition which is often associated with other atopic diseases such as asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).Dermatologists are capable to offer a wide range of treatments for stubborn dermatitis. We treat people of all ages with this situation including babies and the elderly. Your treatment may contain alterations in your skin care and lifestyle, prescription creams, further investigations such as blood tests or allergy testing; phototherapy and sometimes oral medications may be necessary. Treatment plans are tailored to be as safe, practical and simple to follow as possible. If you are struggling to control your flare ups then ask your GP for a referral to see what could be improved in your management plan.

Eczema is a recurring, inflammatory skin situation most usually seen in people with a family history of an atopic disorder, including asthma or hay fever. The skin becomes red, dry, itchy and scaly, and in severe cases, may weep, bleed and crust over, causing much discomfort. The skin may secondarily become infected. Eczema can behave like a roller-coaster – having ups and downs, i.e. flare-ups and then subsides. Both internal (genetics, food allergies, stress) and external (overheating, soaps, house dust mite) factors play a role.

What are eczema symptoms and signs?

Almost all patients with eczema complain of itching. Since the appearance of most types of eczema is similar, elevated plaques of red, bumpy skin, the distribution of the eruption can be of great help in distinguishing one type from another. For example, stasis dermatitis happens most often on the lower leg while atopic dermatitis happens in the front of the elbow and behind the knee.

Causes

Healthy skin helps retain moisture and protects you from bacteria, irritants and allergens. Eczema is connected to a gene variation that affects the skin’s capability to provide this protection. This allows your skin to be affected by environmental factors, irritants and allergens.

In some children, food allergies may play a role in causing eczema.

Prevention

The following tips may help prevent bouts of dermatitis (flares) and minimize the drying effects of bathing:

Moisturize your skin at least twice a day-Creams, ointments and lotions seal in moisture. Choose a product or products that work well for you. Using petroleum jelly on your baby’s skin may help prevent development of atopic dermatitis.

Try to recognize and avoid triggers that worsen the condition-Things that can worsen the skin reaction contain sweat, stress, obesity, soaps, detergents, dust and pollen. Decrease your exposure to your triggers. Infants and children may experience flares from eating certain foods, including eggs, milk, soy and wheat. Talk with your child’s doctor about identifying potential food allergies.

Take shorter baths or showers-Limit your baths and showers to 10 to 15 minutes. And use warm, rather than hot, water.

Take a bleach bath– A diluted-bleach bath decreases bacteria on the skin and related infections. Add 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) of household bleach, not concentrated bleach, to a 40-gallon (151-liter) bathtub filled with warm water. Measures are for a U.S.-standard-sized tub filled to the overflow drainage holes.

Soak from the neck down or just the affected areas of skin for about 10 minutes- Do not submerge the head. Take a bleach bath no more than twice a week.

Use only gentle soaps-Choose mild soaps. Deodorant soaps and antibacterial soaps can eliminate more natural oils and dry your skin.