What Are The Current Treatment Options For Adults With Eczema
There are various types of treatments to manage eczema. A doctor can go over the different options with you and create a treatment plan that works for your specific type of eczema and symptoms.
Treatments can include lifestyle changes, medications , and alternative treatments. Well discuss each of these options in more detail below.
First What Are The Most Common Eczema Symptoms
Before we talk about all the possible reasons you have eczema, its good to recognize the signs and symptoms. Eczema tends to affect the folds of the skin, including the bends of the elbows and knees, ankles, wrists, eyelids, and the back of the neck. According to the Mayo Clinic, common eczema symptoms can include:
- Dry, itchy skin
- Inflammation on the skin that may appear red, purple, or brownish
- Raw, cracked, swollen, or scaly skin
- Small, raised bumps
While you may experience one or all of these symptoms, its important to note that eczema can present differently from person to person depending on your skin tone. Different ethnic populations have different presentations and patterns of eczema, Azeen Sadeghian, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, tells SELF. For example, if you have a deeper skin tone, your inflammation may take on a violet or purple color . And over time, you may also see some skin discoloration if your eczema is left untreated.
Whats more, Black people will sometimes develop eczema on the outside of the forearms or elbows as opposed to the inside folds of the skin, Dr. Sadeghian notes. Follicular accentuationwhere the skin around hair follicles becomes pronounced and bumpyis also a more common symptom in darker skin tones. These important nuances can sometimes present challenges when it comes to diagnosing skin conditions in people of color.
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
You May Like: Why Do You Have Eczema
What Are The Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis
The area of the body affected by atopic dermatitis may change with age. In infants and young children, it usually affects the face, outside of the elbows, and on the knees. In older children and adults, it tends to be on the hands and feet, the arms, on the back of the knees, and the folds of the elbows.
Symptoms are slightly different for each person. Common symptoms include:
- Dry, scaly patches on the skin
- Small bumps that open and weep when scratched
- Redness and swelling of the skin
- A thickening of the skin
- Scratch marks on the skin
Too much rubbing and scratching can tear the skin and lead to infection.
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis may look like other skin conditions. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Apply Hydrocortisone Cream On Flare
Apply over-the-counter 1% Hydrocortisone cream to areas of flare-ups twice a day for 7 to 10 days underneath the lotion to reduce itching and redness. Dont apply hydrocortisone cream to your childs diaper area or near the eyes without first checking with your physician. Also make sure not to use these creams too long as they can thin the skin in the affected area. If over-the-counter options dont work after 1-2 weeks, see your doctor and ask about a prescription for a stronger steroid cream or other management options.
Also Check: What Helps Eczema On Hands
Old Age Onset Of Food Allergy
Allergen Bureau, Wednesday, 03 March 2010 12:35
Most studies that report an increasing incidence of food allergies focus mainly on children and young adults. Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria have looked at food allergies in the elderly and suggest prevalence may be underestimated in this age-group.Immunosenescence, or dramatic age-related changes to the immune system, may contribute to the development of allergies in geriatric patients, as may deficiencies in micronutrients such as zinc, iron and vitamin D. The researchers also suggest the impact of atrophic gastritis or anti-ulcer medication on the digestive ability of the stomach as a further risk factor for developing food allergies later in life. They say in these settings, undigested proteins may persist and become allergenic.Reference: Diesner et al. Gerontology. 2010 Jan 29
We can see that its rare, but its happening more and more. Adult onset allergies are on the rise, just as allergies in kids and young children. Anyone who has tried to get a referral to an allergy clinic will also know that the health service is already struggling, its probably not going to be able to accommodate a load of allergic pensioners on top of all the kids and adults who are joining this allergic march.
Why Has My Skin Become Itchy And Red
Many scientists believe that this skin issue is caused by the behavior of your immune system. When you come into contact with an irritating fabric, skincare product, or other triggers, your immune system may cause you to experience inflammation. This inflammation can lead to rashes and other skin issues.
Scientists also believe that this is a hereditary condition. In other words, if your parents suffered from this skin problem, you are more likely to develop flaky skin during your lifetime. In addition, having asthma and allergies can increase your risk of experiencing this problem.
Dont Miss: Aveeno Eczema For Baby Acne
Read Also: What Does Eczema Look Like On Feet
How Do You Get Eczema Causes Triggers And Cure
Eczema is term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. The most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema. Atopic refers to a group of diseases with an often inherited tendency to develop other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.
Eczema affects about 10% to 20% of infants and about 3% of adults and children in the U.S. Most infants who develop the condition outgrow it by the time they are ten. While some people continue to experience symptoms throughout their life, with proper treatment the disease can be controlled in majority of people.
The main symptom of eczema is itchiness. At times, itching can start even before the rash appears. People with fair skin sometimes get red patches which then turn brown. Eczema can affect pigmentation amongst darker skinned people, thus making the skin affected either lighter or darker. The itchy rashes can produce an oozing, crusting condition that occurs mainly on the face and scalp, but patches may appear anywhere.
The cause of this skin disease is not known, but it is linked to the overworking of the immune system to what may be an irritant. This response tends to cause eczema. Eczema is also linked to a history of allergies and asthma.
How Is Atopic Dermatitis Treated
Factors such as your age, overall health, and health history will help your healthcare provider find the best treatment for you.
There is no cure for atopic dermatitis. The goals of treatment are to reduce itching and inflammation of the skin, to keep the skin moist, and to prevent infection.
Your healthcare provider may also prescribe medicines in severe cases. The following are commonly used to treat atopic dermatitis:
How Can I Take Care Of My Skin In The Winter
In our dry climate, staying moisturized is a must. Makinzee says that winter skin needs a little more TLC than a daily lotion. I tell patients to look for thick creams that hold their shape. If you pump it on your skin and it seeps through, it may be too light for the winter. Some of Makinzees favorite daily moisturizers are Cetaphil and CeraVe because they dont contain fragrances or dyes. For very chapped spots like elbows and knuckles, Makinzee says you can go straight for the Vaseline or Aquaphor. Petroleum jellies are really great barriers for rough spots.
Some other measures you can take are getting a humidifier for your bedroom , using a water softener in the winter, and ensuring that your cleansers and moisturizers are gentle .
Recommended Reading: Does Eczema Spread By Scratching
Can Adults Develop Chronic Eczema
Yes, you can be diagnosed with eczema as an adult. There are even cases of people over the age of 60 who develop it, even if theyve never had symptoms before.
As an adult, going through your daily life with eczema can be challenging. Flares are different for everyone but typically are itchy, uncomfortable and can even be painful. Rubbing and scratching your itchy skin results in an itch-scratch cycle that can lead to lesions and thickened, leathery skin.
Adults with eczema may struggle with self-confidence issues due to feeling embarrassed about their skin appearance. You may also experience interruptions with your regular activities, such as sleeping or working. The effects of this chronic skin condition can cause excess stress and irritability.
Read Also: The Best Cream For Eczema On Face
How Do I Take Care Of Myself
Reducing your stress is very important. Try these tips:
- Count to ten as you take a deep breath.
- Exercise daily.
- Try not to drink as much caffeine and alcohol.
- Sleep eight hours a night.
- Eat healthy.
- Try to have a positive attitude.
- Journal every day.
- Talk about your life with friends, family and a therapist.
Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Psoriasis
Psoriasis and dermatitis can appear similar. Both cause patches of red skin. However, in psoriasis, the scales are thick and the edges of those scales are well-defined.
Discuss with your healthcare provider your questions about which type of skin condition you have. You can have more than one skin condition at a time. Treatments for one may not work for the other.
Don’t Miss: What Works Best For Eczema
Ive Never Had Eczema Why This Year
A lot of people ask me this question, says Makinzee Kemp. Its very possible to go ten or even thirty years without eczema, then break out with a rash one day. Makinzee says that many factors can contribute to eczema beyond just dry, cold air.
One possibility is that you came into contact with something extra irritating. You may have developed an allergy to the laundry soap youre using, for example. That, on top of the winter dryness, could cause a lot of irritation. She adds that people with eczema often have a family history of allergies.
Here are some examples of irritants you may have encountered:
- The chemicals in a new soap or bath bomb ,
- The dyes or fragrances in your laundry detergent, lotion, or perfume,
- The nickel in a necklace, bracelet, or another piece of jewelry,
- Particles in the air such as pollen
Lifestyle factors may have also helped the rash develop. Taking very hot baths or showers tends to dry skin out. If you exfoliate or shave over sensitive skin, this can cause irritation. Finally, scratching your dry skin is a big reason why eczema spreads.
Identifying Eczema On Your Babys Face And Body
With eczema, your babyâs skin will look dry and scaly or bumpy with red patches. The condition usually starts on the face, especially on the cheeks, forehead, or scalp.In many cases, the rash goes away on the face before spreading to other areas, such as the bends of the elbows and the area behind the knees.The patches caused by eczema can be mild and small, but they can also be extremely itchy, which can make your baby irritable. If this is the case with your little one, speak to your healthcare provider.Keep in mind that eczema on your babyâs head might look a little like cradle cap, which is another skin condition that can affect some babies. Your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose the condition.
You May Like: Is Emuaid Good For Eczema
Don’t Miss: Eczema On Bottom Of Feet Treatment
Indications Of Atopic Eczema In Babies
- Itchiness is a strong factor but babies tend to rub more than scratch. Look out for redness in the forehead and the wrists as well as cracking and breaking of the skin.
- A dry skin is very indicative of atopic eczema.
- If the eczema is infected it will be weeping and oozing and there may be yellow/brown crusting.
Eczema Coping Tips Beauty Products
Suggestions for using beauty products include:
- Remember that even hypoallergenic cosmetics can irritate your skin. Whenever possible, keep your face free of make-up.
- Avoid perfumes, fragranced skin lotions and strongly scented shampoos.
- When using a new cosmetic, try testing it first on a small, inconspicuous area of skin such as your forearm. If you experience a reaction, dont use the product again.
You May Like: What Is Good For Eczema On Feet
What Is Eczema What Does It Look And Feel Like
Eczema is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy. Its one of many types of dermatitis. Eczema damages the skin barrier function . This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness.
Eczema doesnt harm your body. It doesnt mean that your skin is dirty or infected, and its not contagious. There are treatments that can help manage your symptoms.
In the word dermatitis, derm means skin and itis means inflammation. The word as a whole means inflammation of the skin. Eczema originates from the Greek word ekzein which means to boil over or break out.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed
There is no specific test used to diagnose eczema. The doctor will look at the rash and ask about symptoms, the childs past health, and the familys health. If family members have any atopic conditions, thats an important clue.
The doctor will rule out other conditions that can cause skin inflammation, and might recommend that your child see a dermatologist or an allergist.
The doctor may ask you to ban some foods from your childs diet, switch detergents or soaps, or make other changes for a time to see if your child is reacting to something.
You May Like: Best Deodorant For Underarm Eczema
Read Also: How To Treat Hand And Foot Eczema
Ultraviolet Radiation Therapy For Eczema
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can help reduce the symptoms of chronic eczema. Exposure under medical supervision can be carefully monitored with the use of specially designed cabinets the person stands naked in the cabinet and fluorescent tubes emit ultraviolet radiation.A person with stubborn eczema may need up to 30 sessions. The risks of unsupervised ultraviolet radiation therapy can be the same as for sunbathing faster ageing of the skin and greater risk of skin cancer.
- Soaps. Never use bubble bath. It can cause a major flare-up.
- Pollens. Keep your child from lying on the grass during grass pollen season.
- Animals. Avoid any animals that make the rash worse.
- Foods. If certain foods cause severe itching , avoid them.
- Wool. Avoid wool fibers and clothes made of other scratchy, rough materials.
- Dry Air. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
- Herpes Virus Infection . Keep your child away from anyone with fever blisters . The herpes virus can cause a serious skin infection in children with eczema.
- Eczema is not caused by laundry soap you use to wash clothing.
Will I Have This Skin Issue For The Rest Of My Life
Under some circumstances, you might suffer from this skin issue for a short period of time. However, in many cases, you will have periodic flare-ups throughout your lifetime. These flare-ups may become more frequent if you go through a stressful time in your life or are exposed to extreme weather, harsh products, or other triggers.
Professional medical assistance can help you manage your symptoms and decrease the frequency of your flare-ups. In particular, using moisturizers and other gentle skincare products will help your skin become softer and less itchy. Further, medical assistance can be used to help you identify foods, products, and other substances that trigger your episodes. Avoiding these triggers can decrease the frequency of your flare-ups.
Recommended Reading: Over The Counter Treatment For Eyelid Eczema
Who Gets Atopic Eczema
Most cases first develop in children under the age of five years. Current figures suggest about 1 in 5 schoolchildren have some degree of atopic eczema. However, statistics show that it is becoming more common year on year.
It is unusual to develop atopic eczema for the first time after the age of 20. About one in thirty adults have eczema.
Eczema Symptoms In People Of Color
In People of Color, an eczema rash may appear gray or brown. This can make outbreaks harder to see.
However, People of Color who get eczema may also get dark or light skin patches even after eczema symptoms go away. These can last a long time. Doctors call these patches hyperpigmentation and depigmentation or hypopigmentation.
A dermatologist can evaluate these patches, which may respond to treatments like steroid creams.
The following atopic dermatitis symptoms are common in babies under the age of 2:
- rashes on the scalp and cheeks
- rashes that bubble up before leaking fluid
- rashes that can cause extreme itchiness, which may interfere with sleeping
Read Also: How To Help With Eczema On Face
How Is Eczema Diagnosed In Adults
In adults, its important not to diagnose eczema too quickly and ignore other possibilities. It may look like eczema, but other diseases, like skin cancer, may present similarly. So a thorough evaluation is necessary to rule out other serious conditions.
Although theres no specific test to diagnose eczema, a healthcare professional may be able to identify your symptoms as eczema.
You may be asked questions about your:
- family history of allergies and eczema
- personal history of eczema
- skin care routine
- recent stressors
To rule out other conditions, a doctor may order a skin scraping or a small skin biopsy.