When To See A Doctor
If moisturizing frequently and avoiding behaviors that cause cracked skin do not help, a person should speak with a doctor. The doctor can check for any underlying conditions.
A pharmacist can help a person choose an appropriate cream or ointment to soothe cracked hands and feet.
People who have signs of complications from cracked skin must also speak with a doctor. These signs include skin that is:
People with diabetes should see a doctor if they develop ulcers from cracked skin on the soles of the feet. Ulcers can make it difficult to walk and require medical attention.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Cracked Skin
To diagnose your cracked skin, a healthcare provider will examine you and ask questions about your medical history, such as:
- When did the symptoms appear?
- Does the area feel warm or itchy?
- Have you noticed any bleeding, oozing, or pus near the areas of dry skin?
- Do you have any allergies?
- Have you used any new products recently?
A healthcare provider may also take a sample of the affected skin or any fluids around the area to test for infection.
Once a diagnosis is made, a healthcare provider will help you develop a treatment plan. Cracks simply caused by dry skin usually are easily treated at home with moisturizers or other remedies that address the cause of your dry skin.
Home remedies for dry, cracked skin include:
While some skin conditions that cause cracked skin can be treated at home, talk with your doctor if you notice these signs of infection:
- Skin that is warm to the touch around the affected area
- Pus or oozing at or around the area
If you arent sure whats causing your dry skin, it can be helpful to talk with your primary care doctor or a dermatologist, a specialist in conditions of the skin, hair, and nails, to ensure youre treating the correct condition.
Can Eczema Be Cured
According to both Dr. Garshick and Dr. Chacon, theres no cure for eczemabut there are ways to manage the symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
Eczema is a chronic condition, so technically, there is no cure, explains Dr. Chacon. However, there are treatments that are very effective in reducing the symptoms of itchy and dry skin. Dr. Chacon also emphasizes that some children may outgrow their eczema with age.
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When To See A Dermatologist
If you have extremely dry, painful hands and using moisturizer throughout the day fails to bring relief, you may have hand eczema. Without treatment and preventive measures, hand eczema tends to worsen.
Seeing a dermatologist can relieve hand eczema before it worsens.
* This patients story appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. For this article, the patient was given a fictitious name.
ImagesImage 1: Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatologys National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Image 2: Image used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed
A physical exam and thorough medical history are usually enough to diagnose eczema. Your health care provider will look at your skin and ask about your symptoms and when they started. Theyll also ask about your family history, as eczema often runs in families.
Your doctor may also order a skin biopsy to look at your cells under a microscope, which can help rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.
Allergists play an important role in diagnosing and managing eczema. Their specialized training makes them experts in both skin conditions and allergies, which can be helpful in pinpointing the root cause of eczema flares and developing an effective treatment plan.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What treatment is best for me?
- Should I use a steroid cream or ointment?
- What are the side effects from the steroid cream or ointment?
- Do I need to take any other medicines?
- What is the best way to prevent flare-ups from eczema and atopic dermatitis?
- Is there a certain type of soap I should use?
- My child has eczema. What kind of moisturizer is best for him/her?
- How can I keep my child from scratching the rash?
- I have eczema. Will my children have it?
- How does infant eczema relate to peanut allergy?
- How should I care for the rash if I have a flare-up?
What Causes Weeping Eczema
Weeping eczema is the result of active inflammation in the skin. Prominent inflammation results in dilation of skin blood vessels. These dilated blood vessels then leak serum into the soft tissue of the skin, causing mild swelling and oozing of the serum onto the skin surface.
Importantly, when your skin becomes too dry, cracked or inflamed, infection can enter the skin and cause your eczema symptoms to worsen. Infection can occur with weeping eczema, but is a different condition. The most common infection in people with weeping eczema is staph , a common bacteria. The herpes simplex virus the same virus that causes cold sores can also cause weeping eczema if it enters the skin.
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Causes Of Eczema On Stomach
Eczema isnt contagious, and you cannot spread it to other people or catch it from them. Why some people develop eczema while others do not isnt fully understood.
However, some types of eczema are believed to have a genetic component and the condition tends to run in families.
The most common types of eczema are atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis.
Relief Requires Finding The Cause
Effective treatment begins with finding the cause. Anything that irritates your skin can cause hand eczema. Even something as harmless as water can irritate your skin if you often have wet hands. Many people who frequently have wet hands throughout the day, such as nurses, hair stylists, and plumbers get hand eczema.
Working with chemicals like solvents, detergents, or cement also increases the risk. Hand eczema is common among construction workers and machinists.
Chef with hand eczema
Anything that irritates your skin can cause hand eczema. For example, whenever this chef handles garlic, hand eczema develops.
Hand eczema can also be caused by an allergic reaction. Some health care workers get hand eczema from wearing latex gloves.
You also have a higher risk of developing hand eczema if you had atopic dermatitis as a child.
Because so many things can cause hand eczema, finding the cause can be tricky. Until you find the cause and avoid it, hand eczema can worsen.
Thats why it can help to see a dermatologist. These doctors have the expertise needed to track down the cause, as Marks* story illustrates.
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What Treatments Do Dermatologists Recommend For Hyperpigmentation
Effective treatment for dark spots and patches begins with sunscreen. Whether youre treating the dark spots on your own or seeing a dermatologist, using sunscreen is essential when youâll be outside. Applied daily, sunscreen can prevent new dark spots and patches. It can also help to clear existing ones.
Youll want to apply sunscreen to all skin that clothing wont cover.
To get the best result, dermatologists also recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat when youre outside.
To get the protection you need to prevent dark spots, use a sunscreen that offers all of the following:
SPF 30 or higher
One of these active ingredients, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
Non-comedogenic formula if you have oily skin
Are you tempted to skip the sunscreen because it leaves a white cast on your skin?
Consider using a tinted sunscreen, which can blend into your skin tone.
Trigger : Physical Wear And Tear
Minor hand trauma from tasks like digging in the garden with bare hands can cause hand eczema or make it worse, as can friction from activities like handling large quantities of paper.
How to dodge it: Wear task-appropriate gloves. Cotton and fabric gloves can keep hands clean and protect against abrasions, but they may not be adequate for work with rough or sharp materials. Working with thorny plants, palm fronds or brambles may require leather gloves with longer cuffs.
Avoiding eczema triggers often goes a long way toward managing the condition. The key is to be diligent. It can take a massive amount of effort if you have severe hand dermatitis, and people often want a quick fix, but putting in that effort to take care of your skin really pays off in keeping eczema from coming back, said Dr. OBrien.
Dont get discouraged: Hand eczema can be stubborn, and it may take a few months for the patches of red, scaly and inflamed skin to fully heal. After that, your eczema is less likely to return.
Medical Review By: Ted Schiff, MD
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How Does Dry Skin Affect My Body
Dry skin changes the texture of your skin from soft to rough. This can cause your skin to feel itchy or change color from your normal skin tone. You can have dry skin patches, which are small areas of dry skin, or dry skin could affect a larger area of your skin. Dry skin is usually harmless and only causes temporary discomfort until youre able to rehydrate your skin with a moisturizer.
Severely dry skin is fragile and easily flakes or cracks, which can turn into a painful sore. In the event of skin sore from dry skin, take care of your skin like you would an injury or wound to prevent infection.
How To Use Sea Moss For Skin Tags And Moles
Follow the protocol below to treat moles and skin tags with sea moss:
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Diagnosis And When To See A Doctor
People who experience symptoms of eczema should see a doctor or dermatologist. Eczema can indicate a new allergy, so it is important to determine what is causing the reaction.
There is no specific test to diagnose most types of eczema. The doctor will want to know the individualâs personal and family medical history. They will also ask about recent exposures to potential allergens and irritants. It is essential that people let the doctor know if they have hay fever or asthma.
The doctor may also ask about:
- any previous treatments for skin conditions
- any use of steroids
A physical examination of the rash will help the doctor to diagnose which type of eczema it is.
The doctor may also perform a patch test, which involves pricking a personâs skin with a needle that contains potential irritants and allergens. A patch test can determine whether or not someone has contact dermatitis.
There is no cure for eczema, so treatment involves managing the symptoms and trying to prevent further flare-ups.
Some treatment options for eczema include:
Some general tips that may help to prevent eczema flare-ups include:
How Is Eczema Treated What Medications Are Used
Treating eczema can be difficult if the cause is something you cant control, like genetics. Fortunately, you may have some influence over your environment and stress levels. Do your best to figure out what triggers or worsens your eczema, and then avoid it. The goal is to reduce itching and discomfort and prevent infection and additional flare-ups.
Consider these treatment tips:
If your child has skin problems, such as eczema, you can:
- Avoid long, hot baths, which can dry the skin. Use lukewarm water instead and give your child sponge baths.
- Apply lotion immediately after bathing while the skin is still moist. This will help trap moisture in the skin.
- Keep the room temperature as regular as possible. Changes in room temperature and humidity can dry the skin.
- Keep your child dressed in cotton. Wool, silk and manmade fabrics such as polyester can irritate the skin.
- Use mild laundry soap and make sure that clothes are well rinsed.
- Watch for skin infections. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice an infection.
- Help them avoid rubbing or scratching the rash.
- Use moisturizers several times daily. In infants with eczema, moisturizing on a regular basis is extremely helpful.
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Whats The Difference Between Weeping Eczema And Impetigo
Impetigo and weeping eczema are both skin conditions. While eczema is a type of dermatitis, impetigo is an infection of the skin. With impetigo, blisters and sores usually develop on the nose and mouth. Weeping eczema can occur anywhere on the body and is sometimes accompanied by red or purple blisters that ooze or weep clear- to straw-colored fluid.
Occasionally, areas affected by eczema can become infected and ooze pus-colored fluid. When this happens, a different type of treatment is usually needed.
What Triggers Dyshidrosis
Healthcare workers and researchers dont know exactly what causes dyshidrosis. A combination of triggers can cause dyshidrosis flare-ups, including:
- Immune system activation: If you have dyshidrotic eczema, your immune system reacts to minor irritants or allergens. This overreaction can inflame your skin.
- Allergies: Exposure to certain substances, including cement, nickel, cobalt and chromium, may trigger dyshidrotic eczema. Other allergies, including hay fever or food allergies, may also cause flare-ups.
- Moisture: Frequently sweaty or wet hands or feet may trigger dyshidrotic eczema.
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Is My Eczema Healing
Theres no known cure for eczema, and the rashes wont simply go away if left untreated. For most people, eczema is a chronic condition that requires careful avoidance of triggers to help prevent flare-ups. Age is also thought to play a role: About 60 percent of people who have eczema developing it as infants.
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Avoiding food allergy triggers may help you manage eczema, but sometimes you need help identifying precisely what the triggers are. This is where an elimination diet may help. This approach involves omitting a food you think is problematic and then reintroducing it to see what happens. We love this article with information from the dermatologist Peter Lio, MD, which delves into some of the misconceptions about the diet, as well as the link between eczema and what you eat.
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How Is Eczema Treated
Treatment for eczema can vary from home treatments to prescription medications. Still, in many cases, people get maximum relief from a prescription treatment combined with home skincare methods and avoidance of irritants. Ways people can treat eczema include:
- Biological medications that help manage the immune system
- Steroid creams or pills to control inflammation
- Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream for itching
- Regular baths and application of a gentle, unscented lotion
- Avoidance of scented or harsh products as well as known irritants
Treatments like oatmeal and aloe vera may help soothe the skin of people with eczema but will probably not get rid of the problem by themselves.
Shampoo Bar For Eczema
Gladskin really has thought of it all! This shampoo bar is gentle enough for anyone with a sensitive scalp. Like the previous products, the bar doesnt contain fragrances, preservatives, sulfates, parabens, and other ingredients that could irritate the skin. Gladskin shoppers are so impressed with the product, they just cant get enough.
As one reviewer wrote, I bought this for my teenage daughter who has dermatitis on her head, and I sometimes get it as well. I have used this and was impressed that my hair looked really good! I was shocked that she actually liked it and has been using it. The shampoo bar has cleared up her head and her hair looks really nice. We have tried so many products and this has been the best!
Gladskin Shampoo Bar for Eczema-Prone Skin
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Your Skin Is Irritated By An Allergen
Itching, redness, swelling and hive-like bumps on your feet could be signs of contact dermatitis, a common reaction that can occur when skin comes into contact with an irritant or allergen. “Some people may experience an allergy to leather or rubber, which can be found in shoes. Alternatively it could be related to adhesives or dyes used in the shoes,” Dr. Garshick says.
âFix it: âStart by ditching the shoes or any other thing that you suspect might be irritating your feet . It might take a few weeks for your skin to totally calm down, but in the meantime, you’ll get some itch relief with an OTC anti-itch cream like Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel .
Trigger : Exposure To Allergens Or Irritants
Hand eczema is often caused or worsened by exposure to a substance thats irritating think alcohol, bleach, cleansers or solvents or one that causes an allergic reaction, such as perfume or certain plants. Florists often get dermatitis on their thumb and forefinger when clipping chrysanthemums and tulips . In the kitchen, vegetables particularly garlic and onion can lead to a flare-up, especially on the fingertips. Even fabric can exacerbate hand eczema. Rough, coarse materials such as wool and stiff synthetics such as polyester can trigger an itch-scratch cycle that worsens the condition.
How to dodge it: Pay attention to what sets off your eczema. Whether youre at home or on the job, learn what irritates your skin and avoid or limit contact with those things, advised Dr. OBrien. Use a washing machine, dishwasher, and food processor when possible and ask other family members for help with housework, cooking and gardening to give your hands a break. Protect your hands from irritants and allergens by wearing vinyl or cotton gloves while you do chores. Wear heavy-duty vinyl or neoprene gloves at work if youre exposed to triggers there. If the gloves you have irritate your skin, ask your dermatologist for recommendations.
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