7 Question & Answers About Eczema

Eczema PatientEczema is a common name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed. Included under the name eczema are several different types of this condition, such as atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular dermatitis.

Question 1:  How many Americans are affected by eczema?

It is estimated that over 30 million Americans have some type of eczema.

Question 2:  What are the symptoms of eczema?

Individuals with eczema typically experience some degree of itching ranging from mild to severe. Other symptoms that vary person to person may include dry/sensitive skin, red and inflamed skin, dark-colored patches of skin, oozing or crusting, and swelling.

Question 3:  Is it worse in the wintertime? This question may be redundant based on other answers.

Some people find that their eczema flare-ups occur more frequently or get worse in the winter. Dry air combined with indoor heating systems is more likely to dry out the skin. Flareups can also be caused by wearing too many layers of clothing, taking hot baths, and using too many bed coverings. These are all things people are more likely to do during the winter months.

Question 4:  What is the treatment for eczema?

The cornerstone of eczema treatment is the daily practice of good skincare: bathing, moisturizing, using OTC and prescription medications as prescribed and avoidance of triggers. Prescription treatments may include skin creams, light therapy, and in severe cases, there are systemic agents that may be used.  Moreover, many pharmaceutical companies are investing heavily in research for better treatment options.  In fact, there is currently a new injectable medication to treat moderate to severe eczema.

Question 5:  What are the most common triggers for eczema?

Commons triggers include everyday irritants such as metals, soaps, and cleaners, fabrics, antibiotic ointments; physical triggers such as stress, skin germs, sweat, long/hot baths or showers; climate such as change in season, hot weather, cold/dry weather, high or low humidity; airborne allergens such as pet dander, pollen, mold, dust mites, and second-hand smoke.

Question 6:  Will my eczema ever go away?

Eczema is a chronic condition, but more often than not, kids tend to outgrow as they get older. However, others may continue to have flares that continue into adulthood. Even adults can develop eczema even if they didn’t have it as a child. At this time, there is no cure for eczema, but it is a condition that can be treated and better controlled.

Question 7:  Is eczema dangerous if untreated?

Currently, there is a lot of research on this subject.  To give you an analogy, years ago, we would have said that psoriasis was not “dangerous,” but the more we learn about that disease state we know that because of the high levels of inflammation in the body it can lead to a host of other issues outside of just being classified as a skin disease.  So the honest answer to the is question is we don’t know, and we are learning more about eczema every day.

Conclusion

Eczema can be a frustrating condition to deal with if not controlled correctly.  Partnering with an expert dermatology healthcare provider can ensure you are getting the best treatment options for your eczema.  As always, our team here at Village Dermatology is ready to help you manage any skin condition more effectively.  We have highly qualified dermatology providers and use the latest technology and information to treat our patients.

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More blogs and information about Eczema:

What is Eczema?

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