What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Eczema
- How can you tell that I have eczema?
- If I dont have eczema, what other skin condition might I have?
- Is there a specific brand of moisturizer that you recommend?
- Is there a prescription cream that you can prescribe?
- How often should I see a dermatologist regarding my eczema?
- What soaps, lotions, makeup, etc. should I avoid?
- What medications do you recommend?
- What at-home treatments do you recommend?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Eczema is very normal, very common, and very, very uncomfortable. It can affect your quality of life. At its worse it can keep you from sleeping, distract you and make you feel self-conscious in public. See your dermatologist or other healthcare provider as soon as you start to see signs of it. Explore at-home remedies and prescribed treatments.
Youre not alone! 15% to 20% of people experience eczema or another type of dermatitis at some point in their lives.
Here Are Some Steps You Can Take To Make The Condition Less Aggravating:
Keep a positive attitude: Negative emotions start a hormonal cascade that can trigger or worsen your symptoms.
Wear natural fabrics: Cotton and other soft, natural fabrics can limit irritation. Avoid wool and synthetic fabrics.
Do not scratch: Scratching can lead to infection.
Reduce household irritants: Try to get rid of dust, dust mites, fur and dander from pets by vacuuming often, using air filters and keeping your house clean. You may also want to use anti-allergenic bedding.
Use gentle washing powders: Avoid harsh detergents and scented cleansers.
Try relaxation therapy: Relaxation therapy and massage therapy modalities can help by reducing muscle tension. This can lead to less aggravation and other detrimental psychological factors that contribute to flare ups.
Keep your bedroom cool: Overheating aggravates itching. So does dry air. You may want to use a humidifier or keep a saucer of water in each room to keep moisture in the air. If you heat with a woodstove, place a kettle of water on top to release steam and check it often.
Types Of Eczema On Feet
Although there are several different types of eczema on toes, ankles and heels, its important to know that it can be caused by a variety of both external and internal factors. This can include change in diet, allergens like dust mites, pollen or latex and even an unhealthy gut.
Knowing which kind of eczema you have is important to treatment, as youll become more familiar with your triggers and learn ways to avoid or limit them.
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What Other Symptoms Might Occur With An Ankle Rash
An ankle rash can occur by itself or with other symptoms that affect the skin and possibly other areas of the body. Symptoms vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For example, you may have flu-like symptoms if the ankle rash is due to infection or inflammation. Some coexisting symptoms, such as and irritability, may be due to the underlying condition, or they may be caused by constant itching and scratching.
What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
Review the following symptoms to see if your problems match up with the diagnosis of eczema.
- Intense itching on the skin. Often appears before any visible signs of a rash.
- Red rash.
- Burning sensation. Most in common sensitive areas like the eyelids, mouth, or ears.
- Oozing that occurs after scratching the bumps.
- Scaly patches of skin, sometimes resembling leather or lizard skin.
- Painful cracks in the skin
Because eczema has multiple overlapping symptoms with other skin conditions, it is recommended to seek medical advisement before self-treating.
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A general practitioner or dermatologist can use their trained eye to accurately identify if the rash is eczema or a myriad of other conditions.
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When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you have symptoms of varicose eczema. Your doctor will often be able to make a diagnosis simply by looking at your skin.
A GP will also ask you questions to determine whether you have a problem with the flow of blood in your leg veins, as this is the main cause of varicose eczema.
To help make a diagnosis, a GP may want to know if you have ever had health conditions such as:
- varicose veins swollen and enlarged veins
- DVT a blood clot in the veins of your legs
- leg ulcers areas of damaged skin that take several weeks to heal
- cellulitis an infection of the deeper layers of the skin and underlying tissue
- surgery or injury to your legs
A GP may also check the pulse in your feet and may do an ankle brachial pressure index test to see if compression stockings are suitable for you.
The ABPI test involves comparing blood pressure readings taken from your ankles and upper arms. A significant difference in the readings suggests a problem with the flow of blood in your arteries in which case, compression stockings may not be safe to use.
What Questions Might My Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Eczema
The conversation with your healthcare provider will need to cover a lot of information. Be sure to be specific about your symptoms.
- Where is your eczema located?
- What have you used to try to treat your eczema?
- What medical conditions do you have? Allergies? Asthma?
- Is there a history of eczema in your family?
- How long have you had symptoms of eczema?
- Do you take hot showers?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
- Have you noticed that something triggers or worsens your eczema? Soaps? Detergents? Cigarette smoke?
- Is there so much itchiness that you have trouble sleeping? Working? Living your normal life?
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What Should I Wear If I Have Eczema On My Ankles
The fabric is infused with zinc, an anti-inflammatory mineral that eases itchiness and speeds up new skin growth. Clothing can be an ally in dealing with eczema symptoms. In addition to socks, make conscious choices in the textiles that you wear, opting for loose-fitting , breathable, and naturally dyed items.
Getting Diagnosed With Dermatitis
If you have dry, itchy or scaly skin on your legs, make an appointment at your GP practice. You may be given an appointment to see the nurse rather than the doctor as nurses are often responsible for caring for patients with leg problems.
Alternatively, there might be a Leg Club or specialist leg clinic in your area. You dont need to be referred by your GP to attend one of these.
When you see the nurse or doctor, they should:
- Ask about your symptoms and how long you have had problems
- Examine your lower legs
If it looks like you have varicose eczema, you may be offered a simple test called a Doppler ultrasound. This test compares blood flow in your ankle with that in your arm to find out if there are blood flow problems in your lower leg. You might have to come back to have your Doppler test on another day or at another clinic but you should have this test within a few weeks of your first appointment.
You may also wish to visit your local pharmacy in the first instance and speak to a pharmacist who may be able to assist.
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Should I See A Doctor About My Leg Eczema
If youre not prone to skin conditions, consider seeing your doctor about any rashes or changes you experience.
If you know you have allergies or are prone to eczema flare-ups, then you can probably get away with not seeing the doc about your leg rash unless its particularly bad.
Eczema doesnt currently have a cure, so theres no magic pill a doctor can prescribe to make it go away. But they can give you some great advice for managing symptoms and prescribe stronger creams or antibiotics when necessary.
How Is Shoe Contact Dermatitis Diagnosed
Often shoe contact dermatitis is difficult to diagnose as there are some other diagnoses that need to be ruled out. These include:
- allergic contact dermatitis caused by something other than shoes .
Diagnosis by performing special allergy tests may involve testing against some different chemicals due to the many potential allergens that may be present in the shoe. Patch testing with portions of the patients shoes, alongside a shoe screening tray of common additives and chemicals is essential in making a correct diagnosis.
See individual contact allergens for patch testing recommendations.
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What Triggers Atopic Dermatitis
The exact cause of foot eczema from atopic dermatitis is unknown. It is thought to be caused by the immune system over-reacting to certain allergens or irritants, either inside or outside the body, which causes inflammation.
People with eczema find that their skin is unable to retain moisture so the skin becomes dry which increases the likelihood of reactions to certain triggers. There may be a lack of filaggrin in the skin, a protein that maintains a healthy, protective skin barrier which stops moisture from escaping and this makes it easier for viruses and bacteria to enter the skin. Studies have shown that nearly 50% of all cases of severe eczema have at least one mutated filaggrin gene.
Atopic dermatitis is also more likely if you suffer from hay fever and/or asthma. These three allergic conditions are collectively known as the atopic triad and often present together.
There is also a suspected genetic link with an increased chance of developing foot eczema and atopic dermatitis if you have family members with any of the atopic triad.
It is important to remember that atopic dermatitis is not contagious, you cant pass it on to anyone else.
Rash On Ankle Pictures
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Articles On Psoriasis Symptoms
Maybe you’re settling into your easy chair for a little Sunday siesta. Or you’re heading out the door for a day of fun in the sun. Either way, you stop and pause, because you’ve got an itch that just won’t leave you alone — along with blotches of red on your skin. What gives?
Your doctor needs to make the final call, but psoriasis or eczema could be the problem. Both are skin conditions with similar symptoms, but there are ways to tell them apart.
How Do I Get Rid Of Eczema On My Ankles
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: moisturizers or emollients to keep the skin hydrated and reduce itching and cracking. steroid creams and ointments to reduce swelling, redness, and soreness.
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Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
The doctor will do an exam to determine the cause of the swelling vein studies may be suggested and, rarely, a culture or skin biopsy may be done. Compression stockings may be recommended.Stronger corticosteroid creams may be used for short periods . Infection may be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics. Oral medications may be used to control heart failure or reduce the presence of fluid.
What Causes Rashes To Suddenly Appear
Mucus membranes are areas such as the lining of your nose or throat. Acute means the rash starts suddenly, worsens quickly, and lasts a short time. An acute rash may be caused by a disease, such as hepatitis or vasculitis. The rash may be a reaction to something you are allergic to, such as food or latex.
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What Else Can Help
Dermatitis is just one of the possible causes of foot rashes. Other conditions such as athletes foot and psoriasis can cause dry skin and itching which may mimic eczema. Visit the foot rash section to find out more.
Remember, managing eczema is a daily thing. It is really important to regularly moisturise even when you are symptom free to stop your foot eczema from flaring up again.
Socks For Eczema On Ankles And Feet
For unknown reasons, the ankles and feet are popular places for eczema outbreaks to appear. Sock and shoes can make symptoms worse if they are comprised of itchy fabric like wool or synthetics. Sweat on the feet, if allowed to fester, can also increase symptoms. If you have a sweaty day or have a tendency for wet feet, try switching out your socks throughout the day to maintain dry feet. Sticking to 100% cotton fabrics with zero dyes or fragrances are the best options.
Luckily, the ubiquitous problem has a few companies working on products to make life easier. There are socks available for itchy feet and ankles that are void of allergens and irritating substances.
For example, The Eczema Company has two styles of socks for both adults and kids suffering from eczema. They are:
Hypoallergenic latex-free socks. These are 100% organic cotton and nothing else. The cotton material naturally holds its shape and wicks away moisture without the use of elastic or spandex. Great for individuals allergic to latex or fabric dyes.
RemedyWear. These unisex socks come in both adult and childrens sizes. These are ultra-soft and stretchy to provide a barrier for broken, sensitive, and itchy skin. The fabric is infused with zinc, an anti-inflammatory mineral that eases itchiness and speeds up new skin growth.
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Why Does My Ankle Itch At Night
Another group of people who can suffer severe ankle itching at night is those people suffering from liver diseases which are usually triggered by consumption of alcohol. Such persons normally complain this problem that tends to worsen at night and is commonly experienced in the soles of the feet, ankles and palms.
Treatments For Weeping Eczema
If your skin is weeping and infected, your treatment will depend on the type of infection you have.
Bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics may be administered as a cream, ointment, tablet, or syrup. Sometimes, antibiotics are given along with a topical steroid.
Viral infections are typically treated with antiviral tablets. If your viral infection is severe, you may need to receive these medicines intravenously in a hospital setting.
Fungal infections are helped with antifungal creams or ointments. These are usually combined with topical steroids.
Its important that you continue to take your usual oral or topical medicines for eczema unless your doctor tells you to stop treatment.
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When To Seek Medical Care
If the leg swelling does not respond to simple support hose, see the doctor to look for the underlying cause of the swelling. Also seek help if the itchy areas do not improve with self-care.Evidence of infection includes pain, fever, increased swelling and redness, or open areas accompanied by pus.Ulcers or sores require medical attention.
Early Signs And Symptoms
Most people develop stasis dermatitis when they have poor blood flow in their lower legs. The medical term for poor blood flow is venous insufficiency.
If you have been diagnosed with venous insufficiency, make an appointment to see a doctor if you notice any of these early signs and symptoms:
Itchy, dry, and discolored skin, especially over varicose veins
Skin feels irritated, discolored, and sore
Heaviness or aching in one or both legs when you stand or walk
Swelling, often on the inside of the ankle, at the end of the day
Swelling in your leg that clears when you sleep, but reappears once you get out of bed
Stasis dermatitis on the inner ankles
Stasis dermatitis usually begins on the inside ankles, causing discolored, dry, and itchy skin.
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When To See A Doctor
Most causes of itchy ankles are harmless, but there are some circumstances where itchy ankles indicate a much more severe health issue. For that reason, consult your doctor if you have a persistent itch in the foot area. Dont attempt to diagnose yourself.
At the appointment, your doctor will want to know:
- how long you have been experiencing the itchiness
- how long the itching sensation lasts
- if its affecting other areas of the body
- if there are certain things that trigger itching episodes
They will also inspect the itchy area, looking for symptoms that accompany other causes.
There are a number of at-home treatments that can help with itchy ankles:
- avoid items that cause you to itch
Causes Of Foot Eczema
Although briefly mentioned above, foot eczema can be caused by a variety of external and internal factors. These include climate change or allergens such as rubber accelerators, dust mites and pollen.
To find out if pollen is causing your eczema, check out our post: How To Determine if Pollen Is Making Your Skin Flare-Up: The Eczema and Allergies Connection.
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