Eczema is sometimes referred to by its other name, atopic dermatitis. This skin condition causes itchy, red rashes to appear on many parts of the body. While most people suffer from eczema, advancements in the health and medical field have been made. Read on to learn more about this skin reaction and how to treat it.
What is Eczema?
Eczema signs and symptoms vary among individuals. This skin condition mostly appears during childhood, but can also appear during childhood. It’s caused by varying reasons. Scientists found that atopic dermatitis is a cause of one or more gene mutations. Sometimes one’s family history can increase the risk of eczema.
Common symptoms include dry, itchy skin. Some people who suffer from eczema also have allergies, such as asthma and hay fever. They may also be more sensitive to food allergies, which can lead to flare-ups.
Most eczema patients experience a blotchy, red rash that appears anywhere on the body. The most common areas include the elbows, knees, scalp, and skin folds. The rash is so itchy that it can cause painful marks and open wounds from the ongoing scratching. Also, hives and welts can appear after consuming certain foods or drinks.
Eczema may worsen from allergens or food sensitivity issues. Consult your dermatologist if you experience an eczema flare-up. If left untreated, they can cause increased pain and suffering.
Eczema Treatment Options and Home Remedies
Thankfully, there are more treatment options for eczema than ever before. Patients no longer have to rely on steroids, though they can be an effective option. Treatment options range from home remedies to medical treatments that treat the rash at the source. Here are some other ways to get some relief.
Eczema Home Treatment
- Wash with gentle or fragrance-free cleansers. Some cleaning products and soaps also contain irritants and fragrances, which can trigger flare-ups. Swap them out for fragrance-free cleaning products and mild soaps that are gentler on the skin.
- Invest in a humidifier. A humidifier keeps your home moist and reduces allergens. Those who live in colder climates will especially benefit from it. Having it run through the night can prevent dry skin.
- Shop for higher-quality fabrics. You may want to consider purchasing organic cotton or sustainable items rather than what’s sold in most retail stores and online stores.
- Make sure that the laundry detergent you use is made from all-natural ingredients.
- Moisturize throughout the day as needed. Apply lotion the moment you get out of the bath or shower to lock in that moisture. Pack travel-size lotion in your handbag or gym bag to reapply throughout the day, especially during the winter.
Professional Treatments with a Dermatologist
If you tried all of these remedies and don’t experience any relief, you should consult with a dermatologist. They can help treat patients who suffer from chronic eczema. Some medical treatment options may include:
- Antibiotics. If the area has an infection from an open wound, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic.
- Antihistamines. Sometimes allergy medications can decrease itching. Combining an antihistamine with lotion can provide some much-needed relief.
- Antifungal medication. There are times when eczema is caused by a fungus on the skin. In this case, a prescription for antifungal cream is recommended.
- Corticosteroids. Systemic or topical corticosteroids are available. Your dermatologist will recommend which is one is better for your specific need. Steroidal creams include hydrocortisone, while systemic corticosteroids consist of oral tablets that cause symptoms.
Schedule an Appointment
If the burning, itching, and discomfort are too much to handle, it’s time to speak to a dermatologist. You can book an appointment with a Seattle Skin and Laser. Our team of providers can help you find the right treatment option that can reduce or prevent symptoms from happening.