Eczema is a chronic skin condition that has no cure. However, it can be managed with self-care treatments.
Eczema can start in childhood and continue into adulthood, though you can experience periods without eczema flare-ups. Most often, eczema runs in families. Those with hay fever, asthma, and other allergies are more likely to have eczema.
Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema is characterized with symptoms that include extremely dry skin; cracked and scaly skin; severe itching; reddish patches on the body; and tiny bumps on the skin that might crust over and ooze. Excessive scratching of eczema can lead to raw and chapped skin.
If you have these symptoms and if they are extremely troublesome, you can see your dermatologist for treatment. You should see your dermatologist if your eczema makes normal daily living routines difficult or if your home-care treatments do not seem to be effective.
Call your doctor immediately if your skin shows signs of infections or if you have a fever.
You can help minimize eczema flare-ups. Keep your skin well moisturized by applying a cream, ointment, or lotion twice daily. If you can figure out what your triggers are, you can also help minimize your chance of a flare-up. Common triggers for eczema include certain detergents or soaps, sweat, stress, obesity, detergents, dust, and pollen. Frequent bathing or hand washing can dry out skin and make it more prone to an eczema flare-up.
Some easy self-care strategies to keep eczema flare-ups at bay include limiting bath or shower length and using warm water instead of hot. Always use mild cleansers and soaps and make sure that you dry off very carefully. As soon as you’ve dried off, apply your moisturizer.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends diluting bleach baths to help manage eczema or atopic dermatitis. Add about half a cup of bleach to a full tub of warm water. Soak for ten minutes twice weekly. Dry off very carefully and apply moisturizer.
Northstar Dermatology can diagnose eczema and help you manage it. Please contact your neighborhood Northstar dermatologist for treatment care of eczema.