Medical Dermatology

Eczemza is a chronic skin condition that produces dry, itching and inflamed skin. Symptoms can vary in severity, ranging from mild inflamed skin, to blistering cracked skin. Eczema is extremely common. In fact, more than 30 million Americans have some form of eczema. Eczema usually occurs on the face, neck, and insides of the elbows, knees, an ankles, however can appear anywhere on the body. It can be extremely bothersome to patients and can affect both children and adults. Adults can develop eczema even if they have no history of eczema as a child.

Types of Eczema

There are different types of eczema that is often categorized based on location (i.e.: hand eczema), appearance (i.e.: nummular, or coined shaped eczema), and underlying cause (i.e.: allergic contact dermatitis). The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis which is frequently described as the “itch that rashes.” Other forms include asteatotic eczema, which is dry skin that often affects the lower legs of the elderly, dyshidrotic eczema, which produces intensely itchy blisters on the hands and feet, and contact dermatitis, which is caused by exposure to allergens.

Treating and Controlling Eczema

Effective treatment of Eczema often requires a multi-faceted treatment plan that includes medication, proper skin care, trigger avoidance, and coping mechanisms. In many cases eczema is manageable, especially with the right tools. This includes bathing and moisturizing daily, sometimes in combination with prescription medications.

Some basic things that can be done to help control eczema:

  • Establish a daily dry skin care routine. Wash with luke warm water, use a non-drying cleanser, pat the skin dry, avoid vigorously rubbing, and moisturize from head to toe.
  • Avoid scratching or itching. Avoid known triggers or known irritants.
  • Antihistamines can be used to aid from itching, both during the day and at night
  • Corticosteroids can be used to help reduce the inflammation