Eczema Treatment Specialist Q&A
Eczema is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy. Our specialists at Piniella Asthma + Allergy can provide eczema treatment. Call us for more information or schedule an appointment online! We have convenient locations to serve you in Coral Gables FL and Palmetto Bay FL.
Table of Contents:
What is eczema?
What are the symptoms of eczema?
What is the main cause of eczema?
When should I go to the doctor for eczema?
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and is certainly the most visible, so conditions that affect it can be particularly bothersome. There are many recognised skin disorders, and eczema is one of the most common, with over 31 million Americans having some form of the condition. It can begin at any stage of life, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood, and can range from mild to severe.
Contrary to what most people may think, eczema is not a single condition, but the name given to a group of conditions that cause itchy or inflamed skin. The seven main types of eczema are:
• Atopic dermatitis (the most common)
• Contact dermatitis
• Dyshidrotic eczema
• Nummular eczema
• Seborrheic dermatitis
• Stasis dermatitis
Eczema is not contagious and therefore cannot be “caught” from someone else, and whilst the exact causes are unknown a combination of genetic and environmental triggers are believed to play a role. Although eczema affects people of all races and ethnicities it appears to be more common in African Americans.
The main symptom of eczema is itchy skin. The itch can range from mild to moderate, but it can sometimes become much worse and the skin can become extremely inflamed. Sometimes, when the skin is scratched excessively, it can bleed and this in turn makes the eczema worse
The symptoms to look out for include:
• Itchy skin
• Dry, sensitive skin
• Inflamed, discolored skin
• Rough, leathery or scaly patches
• Oozing or crusting
• Areas of swelling
You may have all of these symptoms, or only a few, and they can vary from person to person. You may find that your eczema looks very different from another person’s, and you may even find that you experience a different type of eczema on different areas of your body.
As with other auto-immune diseases, eczema flare-ups are caused by certain triggers – believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Just as asthma and other allergies involve a reaction to particular allergens that the body perceives as a threat, the over-reactive immune system of an eczema sufferer responds by producing the red, itchy and inflamed skin symptoms common to most types of eczema. Studies have also shown that some people with eczema have a genetic mutation that affects the production of filaggrin, a protein that helps the very top layer of the skin maintain a healthy protective barrier. Without enough filaggrin to build this strong barrier, the skin becomes dry and bacteria and viruses can enter, which is why many people with eczema have very dry skin that can be prone to infection.
While there is no cure for eczema, there are treatments available, and if you’re finding that over-the-counter medications, constantly applying moisturiser or avoiding allergens isn’t helping it may be a sign that you need to seek medical advice.
Other signs that would indicate a visit to your doctor is advisable are:
• The itchiness or other symptoms inhibit your sleep or daily activities on most days.
• You’re experiencing new symptoms.
• The flare-ups are becoming more frequent.
• Your eczema appears to be getting worse.
• Your eczema seems to be spreading to new areas on the body.
In addition to the above, it is important to contact your doctor if you suspect an infection. People with eczema are at a higher risk of staph infections as these infections grow on the skin and can therefore infect any exposed areas.
If you have any questions regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of allergies and eczema contact us at Piniella Asthma + Allergy today! We have locations in Coral Gables FL and Palmetto Bay, FL to better serve you and offer a broad range of services tailored to meet your needs. Schedule your no-obligation consultation today! We serve patients from Coral Gables FL, Palmetto Bay FL, Westchester FL, Brownsville FL, Kendall FL, Pinecrest FL, Richmond West FL, and Goulds FL.