Does Eczema Spread By Scratching
Eczema never spreads from person to person through scratching or skin contact. However, if you already have eczema and irritate the skin further by scratching it, you may worsen the condition. If you are experiencing an eczema outbreak, you should always avoid any abrasive fabrics, refrain from scratching the area, and speak with your dermatologist as soon as you can. A dermatologist at the Skin Center of South Miami can help you find a treatment option that alleviates your itching skin.
Why And When Should I See A Dermatologist
A common question people ask is: when do I need to see a dermatologist? Well, the truth is there is no uniform answer to this question, it heavily depends on the individual and their situation. A big concern people see derms for is acne. Acne sucks, theres not denying it, and almost everyone has to deal with acne at least once in their life.
Oftentimes, acne for most people is what derms consider mild meaning their acne is not severe or extremely persistent despite treatment. In these mild cases, over the counter products and consistency with a skincare routine is pretty much all that is needed to keep breakouts at bay. But for some people, their acne is a bit more stubborn.
If your acne is severe, meaning you have multiple breakouts at once, have tried several over the counter treatments, or your acne is significantly painful, it is in your best interest to visit your dermatologist. Although the skincare industry has blossomed over the years and consumers have access to more than what they once did, there are still several ingredients, products and treatments that only board-certified dermatologists have access to.
When Eczema Is Under Control
Its important to continue treatment once the eczema is under control. Many parents find that they can control eczema by:
Keeping their childs skin hydrated
Finding out what triggers the eczema and helping their child avoid these triggers
Even with daily care, eczema can flare. Common eczema triggers like stress or a change in the weather can cause a flare. When your childs skin flares, medicine may be necessary. For children who have eczema that flares frequently, applying a low-dose medicine to the skin a few times per week can reduce flares.
Following your dermatologists treatment plan is worthwhile. It helps to control eczema and make your child feel better. It can also reduce your childs need for medicine.
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Take A Dip In The Sea Once In Awhile
Long-time eczema sufferers might have heard this old wives tale of swimming in the ocean as a way to soothe sensitive skin. But it turns out that theres some truth to this, said Dr. Paul Chia.
Seawater contains salt, which is an antiseptic that can kill bacteria, he explained. For some, a bacterial infection caused by staphylococcus aureus could be a frequent trigger for eczema flare ups. Taking a dip in the sea can help stave off inflammation caused by this.
There should be no cause of concern over the dirtiness of seawater either. Dr. Paul Chia commented that eczema is not a hygiene or allergy issue, and that seemingly dirty water is not going to worsen sensitivity.
For those with eczema that gets infected frequently, soaking in seawater or even using diluted bleach will be helpful in preventing recurring skin infections.
Does A Humidifier Help With Eczema
If you are one of the more than 31 million Americans affected by eczema, you may be in a position where you would be willing to try most anything to find relief. These itchy, uncomfortable red patches often worsen in dry climates or winter months, leaving behind dry, scaly skin that craves moisture. In these situations, a humidifier can be used to calm and hydrate the skin, thereby reducing uncomfortable eczema symptoms.
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What Is The Bottom Line With Eczema And Sensitive Skin
It is really important to know that all of the types of eczema involve a very damaged skin barrier. The rash is visual evidence of breaks in this barrier. These breaks lead to hypersensitive skin that is easily irritated. Understanding this concept is important for creating an eczema-healing skin care routine that you can depend on. – Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey
Home Treatment For Atopic Dermatitis
Good skin care is key. If your eczema is mild, that might be all you need, along with some changes in your daily habits.
If you have severe eczema, you may need to take medicine for it, too.
Soap and moisturizer. Use a mild soap or soap substitute that won’t dry your skin. Youâll also want a good moisturizer in cream, lotion, or ointment form. Smooth it on right after a shower or bath, as well as at least one other time each day.
If your eczema is severe, you may find that it helps to take baths once a week with a small amount of bleach added to the water. That kills bacteria that live on the skin of people with eczema.
Short, warm showers. Donât take very hot or very long showers or baths. They can dry out your skin.
Get a humidifier. Dry air can be stressful for your skin.
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What Does Eczema Look Like
The most common type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, can appear on the face or in areas that you flex, including the knees, elbows, and neck. Atopic dermatitis causes red skin rashes that may be patchy, flaky, or ooze. Because it’s often incredibly itchy, keeping kids from scratching can be challenging.
Other forms of eczema can look quite different from atopic dermatitis. These include:
- Seborrheic dermatitis: starts on the scalp or face, can appear as flakes or scales
- Contact dermatitis: red and rough skin, caused by irritants
- Discoid eczema: round patches starting on legs, arms, or trunk
- Pompholyx: blisters on hands and feet
- Asteatotic eczema: cracked-looking skin, starts on shins in older adults
- Varicose eczema: inflammation around veins, usually in older adults
If you or your child has some of these eczema symptoms, prompt treatment is important to get relief. Dr. Hanson performs a full exam to diagnose the type of eczema you have so she can provide effective treatment.
Surprising Ways Parents Make Eczema Itchier
Some itch-relieving techniques that people use can make eczema itchier. To prevent this, dermatologists recommend that you avoid:
Telling your child to stop scratching: This rarely works and can leave your child feeling stressed. Stress can cause eczema to flare.
Using anti-itch products: This may seem strange, but anti-itch products often fail to relieve itchy eczema. To make matters worse, some contain ingredients that can cause eczema to flare. Only use an anti-itch product if your childs dermatologist recommends one.
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She Applies Eye Cream Morning And Night
“It’s always a good idea to use an eye cream both AM and PMalthough I also sometimes skip this step when Im in a hurry! Undereye cream is a place where I suggest splurging if you can as wellthe skin is so thin so you want to make sure the product is safe but also effective! I opt for something that is hydrating and helps with the integrity of the skin as ‘dark circles’ may just be the blue tint from the vessels underneath the thin skin.”
What’s The Bottom Line With My Personal Skin Care Routine For Eczema
Youll notice that my products sound custom designed for someone with dry sensitive eczema-prone skin – like me. Youre right! I, like my patients and so many others, need exactly this mindful level of skin care.
I am a dermatologist who knows sensitive skin from the inside out. Add to that my 35+ years caring for people with the same problem but unique product preferences and lifestyles and I’ve had a lot of experience solving sensitive skin problems. Dry sensitive skin is common – over 60-70% of women and 50-60% of men have it – this is skin care for us!
Hanifin JM, Reed ML Eczema Prevalence and Impact Working Group. A population-based survey of eczema prevalence in the United States. Dermatitis. 2007 Jun 18:82-91. doi: 10.2310/6620.2007.06034. PMID: 17498413. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17498413/
Thomsen SF. Epidemiology and natural history of atopic diseases. Eur Clin Respir J. 2015 2:10.3402/ecrj.v2.24642. Published 2015 Mar 24. doi:10.3402/ecrj.v2.24642
Farage MA. The Prevalence of Sensitive Skin. Front Med . 2019 6:98. Published 2019 May 17. doi:10.3389/fmed.2019.00098
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Why Is It So Important To Moisturize After A Bath Or Shower
Water is an effective way to put moisture back into the skin, but only if you use lukewarm water, avoid scrubbing and apply a moisturizer within three minutes after bathing or showering. This last step very important if you dont moisturize immediately afterward, the moisture your skin needs will evaporate and may cause a rebound effect making the skin even more dry.
I Created My Naturally Eczema Free Skin Care Kit To Give You Safe Natural Product Alternatives For The Most Common Skin Care Products That Cause Allergic Contact Eczema
severely chapped hands, I recommend the Dry Hand Repair Kit to provide your hand skin with intensive repair therapy.
If you have eczema, you need smart skin care choices screened and created by a dermatologist who knows the nuances and pitfalls of your eczema-prone skin. I’ve worked hard to curate my product line for people like my family, my patients, and you – we are folks who need the absolute best eczema treatment for our sensitive skin.
If you would like more specific skin care tips for eczema please see:
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Otc Medicines For Eczema
Over-the-counter eczema remedies are topical and oral medications you can buy without a prescription. You can find a range of OTC treatments that help with eczema symptoms such as itch, redness, irritation or rash. Other OTC treatments can help prevent flares and assist with sleep when night-time itch is keeping you awake.
Many OTC products are available in both brand-name or generic forms.
Other Treatment On Prescription
If steroid creams dont help your eczema, there is a range of other medicines available on prescription.
- Topical immunosuppressants, such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus are creams that you apply to your skin to reduce inflammation. You may be prescribed these if other treatments havent worked or if you cant use them because of their side-effects as a result of the steroid.
- Antibiotics, such as flucloxacillin or erythromycin, are used if your eczema has become infected.
- Antihistamine tablets are not often recommended, however if your eczema is stopping you from sleeping, they may be prescribed to reduce irritation and itching, which in turn will greatly improve your quality of life.
- Oral steroids, such as prednisolone, are available as tablets to treat severe eczema. You will be prescribed these for as short a time as possible but they should be used as a last resort.
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How Can A Dermatologist Help Diagnose Eczema
There are various types of eczema and atopic dermatitis that can be difficult to differentiate.
Because a dermatologist specializes in skin conditions, they can provide specific help for eczema with diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. Some dermatologists may have atopic dermatitis clinics, but all dermatologists are qualified to treat eczema.
Tools for diagnosis include:
What Is A Dermatologist
A dermatologist is a doctor who focuses on conditions that affect the skin, hair, and nails. They see patients of all ages, treat over 3,000 different conditions, and many specialize in treating specific conditions like cancer and patient groups like People of Color.
A pediatric dermatologist has specialized training in treating children with conditions affecting their skin, hair, or nails.
There are three boards that provide certification in dermatology in North America:
- American Board of Dermotology
- American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
To be board certified, a dermatologist must pass an exam from one of these boards to test their medical knowledge and expertise.
Following board certification, a dermatologist may choose to become a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, the largest organization of dermatologists in the United States. A dermatologist who is a fellow will have FAAD after their name.
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How To Properly Exfoliate Eczema
Eczema can be insanely itchy and sometimes extremely painful, especially when youre trying to wash it or exfoliate. Surprisingly, exfoliation is extremely beneficial for eczema skin. Not only does it remove dry and dead skin, but it can also allow natural eczema treatments to penetrate the affected area more effectively. This week, we take a look at how to exfoliate eczema skin, as well as what not to do!
Please keep in mind that although these treatments can relieve eczema, we are in no way medical professionals. If youre experiencing severe eczema symptoms like an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.
Ways To Get Rid Of Eczema And Prevent Flare Ups According To Dermatologists
- To treat eczema, its important to use heavy moisturizers like petroleum jelly to trap in moisture.
- You can also try topical steroids to bring down redness and inflammation.
- Coal tar can soften the top layer of skin, which can help relieve eczema symptoms.
- Visit Insiders Health Reference library for more advice.
Eczema is a condition that can cause patches of your skin to become red, itchy, and sometimes blistered. Approximately 1 in 10 people will experience eczema at some point in their life, and for most people symptoms start before the age of 6.
Though there is no cure for eczema, there are treatments you can use to relieve your symptoms and keep the condition from getting worse.
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How Long Does It Take Eczema To Heal
Many patients with eczema have one key question on their mind: How long does eczema last? To put it simply, it depends on many factors, like your age, the type of eczema you have, and the severity of it. However, with the help of a dermatologist, you may be able to improve or clear up your eczema outbreak quicker. Speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members to determine the best treatment path for you and to begin your road to healthier-looking skin.
She Always Applies A Vitamin C Serum
“The AM skincare routine is a great time to incorporate a vitamin C of some sort. It’s a brightener as well as the most potent anti-oxidant which will help combat all of the free radicals our skin gets exposed to during the day. For a splurgea lot of dermatologists use and recommend Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. This product is backed by a lot of science which is reassuring because vitamin C is so unstable to light, temperature, etc. You want to make sure the product you’re using actually works!
If you have acne-prone skin I actually recommend the same version but the Phloretin CF . I am always rotating my products so my skin doesnt get used to the same formulation and because I like to try them out before recommending them to my patients. I am currently using the Revision C+ Correcting Complex 30+ because I love that it’s not a serum. Another good alternative at a good price point is The Ordinary.”
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I Only Trust Zinc Oxide Sunscreen And I Wear It 365 Days A Year
Every day I apply one of my Sheer Strength Pure Physical SPF 50+ zinc oxide sunscreens. My skin will not tolerate chemical sunscreen ingredients and I avoid them like the plague. Chemical sunscreen intolerance is normal for someone with sensitive skin such as me. Plus, over my 35+ year career, Ive done well over 200,000 skin exams on active Californians, allowing me to compare the protection of different sunscreens. Zinc oxide products clearly give the best protection, there is no question when you look at peoples skin under magnification all day. I only trust my skin to zinc oxide.
I wear my Matte Tinted SPF 50+ or Invisible Creme SPF 50+ on my face every day. I apply my Spray SPF 50+ on all other exposed skin such as my neck, chest, back of my hands etc. I touch up during sun exposure days with my SPF 30 Refresh Powder. When swimming, I wear my water resistant Spray SPF 30. These are all hypoallergenic and free of chemical UV filter ingredients meaning they are ideal for eczema-prone skin.
Trying Out Qv Products To Keep Dry & Sensitive Skin From Flaring Up
Apart from the tips mentioned, I also tried out QVs range of products that are recommended by dermatologists. They are even used in Singapore hospitals as treatments for sensitive skin.
I used the QV Gentle Wash 1KG which is a soap-free body wash, then proceeded to slather on the QV Cream 500G once I hopped out. As extra precaution against triggering my inflamed skin, I pat myself dry instead of rubbing the bath towel across my skin.
I noticed that my skin did not feel taut after showering, something that Id often experience with regular soaps. Instead, my skin felt soft and moisturised from the 15% glycerin content of the wash. The ingredient helps hydrate skin while cleansing, without stripping away the skins natural oils.
The moisturiser did not feel uncomfortable despite its thick consistency. Applying just a very thin layer did the trick.
To maintain skin hydration, I applied QV Cream to the insides of my elbows, a sensitive area that would flare up every now and then. There are five active ingredients in the cream that makes it non-greasy and easier to be absorbed by the skin.
I found that its hydrating effects lasted quite a number of hours, even in an air-conditioned room where the air can be drying. It also helped to relieve itch from my dry and flaky skin.
Dr. Paul ChiaImage credit: QV
This post is brought to you by the Dermatology Practice and QV.
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