What You Need to Know About Eczema

If you’re one of the many people who suffer from eczema, you know just how frustrating it can be, but you’re not alone. Eczema affects approximately 15 million people across America. Read on to learn more about an overview of eczema and learn some helpful tips for managing the condition.

What Causes Eczema?

Eczema is caused by the body’s inability to repair the skin barrier properly. When a particular mutation in the filaggrin gene occurs, the body cannot create the two skin layers necessary to protect from moisture. This scenario leads to the inflammatory skin condition known as atopic dermatitis or eczema. 

Eczema is a genetic condition, but it does have environmental triggers. The most common eczema causes are high temperatures and irritants. These factors can increase redness and itchiness in the affected area.

Another form of eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, affects the hands and feet and can be associated with atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis in some cases. 

What Does Eczema Look Like?

Eczema usually appears as a red, raised rash on the skin. Dryness or scaliness in the afflicted area can also indicate the condition. However, other issues like stasis dermatitis can also cause these symptoms.

In some cases, patients may notice fluid weeping from the rash. Eczema commonly becomes impetiginized (infected with bacteria), especially Staphylococcus aureus. When this occurs, the eczema patches may develop honey colored crusts indicative of impetigo. 

Atopic Dermatitis Treatment

Eczema is uncomfortable and can increase vulnerability to skin infections. Nonetheless, multiple effective atopic dermatitis treatments exist.

In some cases, a topical moisturizer may resolve the issue. Doctors also typically prescribe anti-inflammatory ointments, such as topical steroids or topical calcineurin inhibitors.

Additionally, patients can use coal tar to reduce itching. This treatment also allows the affected area to heal more quickly. 

For patients with more severe cases of eczema, doctors may recommend more robust options to address the situation. These strategies include ultraviolet light therapy or systemic medications. Systemic steroids and other immunosuppressive agents have been used historically for moderate to severe eczema. There are newer systemic options for atopic dermatitis including dupilumab (Dupixent) and upadacitinib (Rinvoq). These have shown improved results with less adverse reactions, however, these treatment routes do have some associated side effects so it is important to speak to your dermatologist about what treatment options may be right for you.

Dealing with Atopic Dermatitis on Face

Dealing with atopic dermatitis on your face can be frustrating, but there is hope. The treatments in the section above can still provide relief. Furthermore, you can benefit from other strategies as well.

For instance, reducing your makeup and other cosmetics can ease the burden on your skin. Keeping your face makeup-free also helps your medications take effect.

Improve Your Skin Today

How you look significantly impacts how you feel, so keeping your skin bright and healthy is a crucial part of self-care. Working with a dermatologist can provide incredible relief when dealing with eczema or other skin issues. For residents of Knoxville, TN, Refine Dermatology is an excellent choice.

The doctors at Refine Dermatology have worked with hundreds of patients to resolve issues with eczema and similar skin problems. However, living with eczema can impact your life in multiple ways. So, prioritize yourself by calling Refine Dermatology at (865) 545-0900 to schedule a consultation today.