Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic condition associated with raw, itchy, and scaling skin. It can be so uncomfortable for some people that it interferes with daily activities, sleep patterns, and general quality of life.
Because the severity can vary significantly among patients, it is essential to find a treatment plan and self-care routine that alleviates symptoms and prevents future flare-ups. At Dallas Dermatology Partners, we can devise a combination of treatment protocols and lifestyle changes unique to your needs.
Causes of Eczema
An estimated one in every 10 Americans has atopic dermatitis-- a collection of complex skin diseases that typically arise in childhood but can develop later in life as well. While the precise cause of eczema is unknown, certain physiological factors can trigger symptoms in susceptible individuals. Some of the primary risk factors for atopic dermatitis are hay fever, asthma, or family history.
Although eczema is quite common in infants, most outgrow it by the age of 3. Parents of Infants prone to flare-ups should avoid using products or fabrics that may irritate their skin and avoid feeding them foods that might precipitate outbreaks.
Overexposure to irritants such as soaps, perfumes, lotions, or detergents, as well as animal dander can trigger outbreaks in both children and adults. These flare-ups have also been tied to upper respiratory infections, fungal infections, and in some cases, food allergies.
Avoiding common triggers such as coarse fabrics, extreme temperatures, and harsh soaps or detergents—are some of the best ways to keep eczema at bay. Further, try not to scratch inflamed areas, and learn coping mechanisms for stress, which can exacerbate it.
Atopic dermatitis can be an unpredictable disease and has no cure. But our dermatologists can help patients determine their triggers and suggest appropriate treatment to improve their quality of life.
Symptoms of Eczema
Symptoms of eczema tend to lessen in severity with age and may include:
- Red rash on the skin
- Extreme itchiness
- Raised crusty patches
- Blisters and plaques that ooze
- Thickened patches of skin
- Dry or cracked skin that sometimes bleeds
- Skin discoloration
Atopic dermatitis usually presents on the hands, neck, ankles, elbow creases, and knees, though it can develop around the eyes, cheeks, and eyelids.
It is diagnosed by a physical examination and a thorough consultation that includes a full patient family history. Because many people with eczema are sensitive to specific allergens, we may perform a skin allergy test for an accurate diagnosis.
Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Several treatments are available to ease the discomforts of eczema that also aim to repair the skin barrier function. Cold compresses and over-the-counter preparations to address itching may also be recommended.
It is crucial to treat these symptoms because atopic dermatitis can undermine the skin's integrity, allowing bacteria to invade and cause infection.
In addition to changes in bathing and laundering, eczema treatment may include the following:
- Topical corticosteroids
- Antibiotics if an infection is present
- Immunomodulators (such as cyclosporine)
- Dupixent injections (used for severe eczema that is resistant to other treatments)
Eczema Dermatologist in Dallas
Many cases of atopic eczema can improve significantly with the right lifestyle modifications and medical treatment. Our dedicated team can help you love the skin you are in and reduce painful outbreaks.
Get started by scheduling your Dallas dermatology appointment today. Our offices are convenient to the Dallas Fort Worth area, including Addison, Plano, Richardson, and Frisco.