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Eczema

Eczema, is a group of inflammatory skin conditions that cause dryness, redness, scaly patches, itchiness and often skin infections. The most severe form of eczema is called atopic dermatitis (AD). Eczema usually presents on the hands, creases of the elbows and knees, and neck, but it can also develop on the face, including the eyelids.


More than 31 million Americans have eczema, and it can begin during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. There are genetic and environmental factors that play a role in the disease and families with a history of seasonal allergies, asthma or eczema are more predisposed to developing the disease. The severity of the disease can range from mild discomfort to severe itch or pain effecting sleep, self-esteem, and quality of life.


Eczema is diagnosed through a physical examination and consultation with your healthcare provider that includes a detailed personal and family history. Often, a skin test will be performed, to rule out specific allergies and aiding in diagnosis.


Patients should avoid using products or wearing fabric that may irritate the skin. Avoiding triggers such as fragrance, extreme temperatures and harsh soaps or detergents can often help keep the eczema well controlled.


While there is no cure, eczema can be controlled with a skin care regimen, antihistamines, avoidance of triggers, and topical medications. More severe cases of atopic dermatitis may respond well to light therapy, oral medications and systemic medications called “biologics” which are immune targeted therapies.


There are more treatments in the pipeline for atopic dermatitis. Bellaire Dermatology and its providers participate in clinical trials to help further research into treatments and procedures eczema and other chronic skin conditions.

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