Eczema is a term used for a subtype of dermatitis called atopic dermatitis. This is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. It can develop during childhood and change in severity and appearance throughout the patient’s life. It is characterized by inflamed, itchy, and dry or weepy, oozy, crusty skin. While eczema is not contagious, it can be chronic and cause discomfort.

The symptoms of eczema can vary from person to person, but commonly include dry and sensitive skin, itching, inflammation/redness, cracked or scaly skin, as well as weeping or oozing skin.

The exact cause of eczema is still unknown, but several factors may contribute to its development, including genetic predisposition, immune system dysfunction, environmental triggers, and skin barrier dysfunction.

If you suspect you have eczema, it is crucial to consult a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. They will examine your skin, review your medical history, and may perform additional tests if needed. These tests can help rule out other skin conditions and allergies, allowing for an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment for eczema should help relieve symptoms, reduce inflammation, and hopefully minimize or prevent flare-ups. It typically involves a combination of treatments. Prescription topical medications include corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, antibiotics, and Jak inhibitors. Oral medications may include antibiotics, steroids, and Jak inhibitors. There are a few injectable medications that have been approved to treat atopic dermatitis and can be helpful for moderate to severe cases.

Home remedies and lifestyle changes can also help treat eczema. Regularly using fragrance-free moisturizer can help minimize flares. Maintaining a consistent skincare routine including fragrance-free, hypoallergenic soaps and detergents, avoiding hot and prolonged baths and showers, wearing soft breathable fabrics (cotton or natural fibers), and minimizing scratching are all important for overall skin health. Avoiding known triggers such as irritants and allergens is also helpful.

If you have chronic eczema, ongoing management is essential to control flare-ups and maintain skin health. This may involve regular follow-up appointments with your dermatologist, adherence to prescribed medications, and adjustments to your skincare routine based on your individual needs.

While eczema cannot always be prevented, there are some measures that may help reduce the risk or severity of flare-ups. Moisturizing daily, avoiding triggers, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can minimize the risk and frequency of flares.

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A board-certified Dermatologist is a medical doctor (MD or DO) that has completed 4years of medical school as well as 1 year of internship and a minimum of 3 years of dermatology residency. They are the experts in over 3,000 conditions affecting hair, skin, and nails. They can see patients of all ages and are able to address medical, surgical, and cosmetic concerns.
Most people see a Dermatologist once yearly for an overall skin check. If there is a personal or family history of skin cancers, abnormal moles, or other conditions such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis, the frequency of visits can be increased.
Dermatologists recommend performing a once-monthly self-skin examination to check for new or changing spots. You should examine all aspects of your skin, using mirrors or a partner as needed. Do not forget to try to examine your scalp, look between fingers and toes, check the bottoms of your feet, and examine the groin area. Please have any new or changing lesions examined by a Dermatologist to determine if any treatments are needed.
UV damage is the biggest skin aging culprit. Daily sun protection measures (even in the winter) is the best preventative step. Avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, other drugs, staying hydrated, and eating a well-balanced diet can all have positive anti-aging effects as well.
Topical vitamin A products (retinols, retinoids) are the overall most effective topicals for addressing skin aging concerns such as loss of elasticity, fine lines, skin texture changes, and dyspigmentation. There are various over-the-counter products and prescription products that contain these active ingredients. People with very sensitive skin can sometimes have a more difficult time tolerating these topicals as they can be irritating to the skin.
While food allergies and sensitivities can be found in higher percentages among patients who have eczema, we often do not find a direct correlation between food allergies and eczema.

There are several easy tips and tricks to minimize dry skin. Be sure to use warm, not hot water for bathing. Limit soap use to the face, armpits, groin, and feet (unless you are sweaty or dirty elsewhere).

Pat dry after bathing and immediately apply moisturizer while you are still damp to lock in moisture. Thicker moisturizers such as creams and ointments work better than lotions for very dry skin. Utilize humidifiers if needed, especially during the wintertime.

It is common that eczema can develop during childhood. Overall, eczema can change overtime in terms of what locations on the skin are most commonly affected. Many children do have their eczema improve as they get older, but it can persist into teenage years and adulthood.
Any time there is inflammation in the skin, whether from eczema or another condition, the pigment cells in those areas can become “leaky”. This can cause either areas of lighter color or darker color even after the inflammation has resolved. These areas of discoloration will improve overtime as long as the inflammation does not return, but it can take weeks, months, or even years to fully return to its original pigment.
Eczema is a multifactorial skin condition that is influenced by genetics and environmental factors. Eczema is part of a group of conditions including allergies and asthma so these conditions can commonly be seen together in the same patient.

Yes, eczema can sometimes cause blisters, a condition known as dyshidrotic eczema or pompholyx. These blisters are often itchy and can appear on the hands and feet, but they can occur in other areas as well.

Yes, stress can be a trigger for eczema or exacerbate existing eczema symptoms. Emotional stress can weaken the immune system and lead to inflammation, which can worsen eczema flare-ups in some individuals.

Eczema itself is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person through direct contact. However, eczema can spread on an individual's skin if it's not properly managed or if the affected person scratches the affected areas, leading to the appearance of new eczema patches.

Eczema is a chronic skin condition, and there is currently no known cure. However, it can often be effectively managed and controlled through proper skincare, avoiding triggers, and using prescribed treatments, allowing individuals to lead a comfortable and symptom-free life.

Yes, eczema can cause blisters in some cases, particularly in a specific type of eczema known as dyshidrotic eczema or pompholyx. These blisters are typically itchy and may appear on the palms of the hands, the fingers, or the soles of the feet.

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