Eczema Q & A
What is eczema?
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is an inflammatory skin condition that causes red, itchy, dry patches of skin. The condition weakens your skin barrier, leading to itching, pain, and discomfort. While eczema isn’t contagious, it can flare up without warning. Understanding your specific triggers can help reduce the frequency of flare-ups and protect your skin.
What does eczema look like?
Eczema can appear differently depending on a wide range of factors, including the type and severity. Common symptoms of eczema typically include:
- Red, itchy patches of skin
- Discomfort or pain/stinging
- Scratch marks
While you may be tempted to scratch these lesions, doing so can cause tears in the skin that lead to infection. A proper diagnosis and targeted treatment plan are essential to managing eczema symptoms and reducing flare-ups.
What causes eczema?
Eczema has no known cause, but most dermatologists agree it runs in families. Allergies, asthma, and other chronic conditions may also increase your risk of eczema. Many factors can trigger uncomfortable flare-ups, including:
- Dry weather
- Hot or cold temperatures
- Certain materials and fabrics
- Hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, puberty, etc.)
Stress can also trigger eczema by weakening your immune function. At Pure Dermatology, the dermatologic team considers your diet, lifestyle, and genetic factors when making treatment recommendations.
How is eczema diagnosed?
The dermatologists at Pure Dermatology perform a comprehensive skin exam to diagnose eczema. They ask questions about your medical and family history, diet, lifestyle habits, and more to determine your risk for the condition. Tell your provider if you have allergies, asthma, and other chronic conditions that increase your risk of eczema.
Finally, the team may conduct a skin allergy patch test or biopsy to rule out underlying conditions and rashes.
What are the treatments for eczema?
Eczema has no cure, but relief is possible with individualized care from the expert dermatologists at Pure Dermatology. After a thorough skin check, the team may recommend:
- Lifestyle changes and trigger avoidance
- Oral medications
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Light therapy
Moisturizing regularly is essential if you have eczema. The team can recommend appropriate skin care products to manage your condition.
Call Pure Dermatology today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about eczema.