What is Eczema?

Eczema is an umbrella term for a group of conditions that are characterized by redness, itching, and inflammation. This skin condition is very common and according to the National Eczema Association, over 30 million Americans have some type of eczema. An important thing to note is that eczema is not a contagious condition and there is no conclusive cause.

What is Atopic Dermatitis?

This red itchy rash normally occurs on the arms, legs and sometimes the cheeks. This condition is common in children and can be present because of asthma and hay fever. Just like eczema in general, there is no known cause of atopic dermatitis, but it is thought that a substance either inside or outside the body triggers a reaction by the immune system.

Eczema Vs. Atopic Dermatitis

Put simply, Eczema is a general term for a group of conditions that includes Atopic Dermatitis. However, atopic dermatitis is a more severe type of eczema. This type of eczema goes beyond the mild redness and itching. The symptoms can progress to irritation and infections such as staph or herpes. In some cases, blistering can occur. Finding the right treatment has a lot to do with understanding your symptoms.

Treatment Options

While there is no complete cure for eczema, there are several ways the symptoms can be managed. Your symptoms will dictate how you treat your specific type of eczema, however, there is some general maintenance that can be done to ease itching and discomfort. One of the most important things to do when treating eczema is to replenish and nourish the skin moisture barrier. There are also ways to soothe itching with neutralizing baths using oatmeal or baking soda. Using dermatologist recommended products that contain no fragrance or other known irritants throughout the day can be a great way to keep symptoms under control.

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If you’re experiencing eczema and eczema related skin conditions, talk with your dermatologist about what the best course of treatment is for your type of eczema. A dermatologist at Seattle Skin & Laser can examine your skin and set you on the right track for managing your eczema.  Seattle Skin and Laser also treats patients from Mercer Island and the Issaquah area.

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