Finding Doctors For Eczema
Diagnosing and treating eczema can take a team of healthcare providers to address the triggers, symptoms, and psychological impact cases. In addition to your primary care doctor, the NEA recommends that your healthcare team include:
- A board-certified dermatologist
- A mental health counselor
- A complementary health provider
The NEA has a directory of providers in each specialty who have experience treating patients with eczema.
Should I Be Wary Of Topical Steroids
Topical steroids, used appropriately and under medical supervision, are a safe and effective treatment for eczema. The likelihood of side effects occurring is directly related to the potency of the preparation, where it is being used, the condition of the skin on which it is used and the age of the user. All these factors will be taken into consideration when a prescription is given to treat eczema.
Pregnant women should consult their GP regarding the advisability of continued use of their usual topical steroid preparation.
Side effects such as skin thinning usually only occur when potent or very potent steroids have been applied for a long period of time to more delicate areas of skin, such as the face and neck, or flexures .
How Can I Prevent Eczema Flare
Once you know what triggers your eczema, your doctor may be able to help you develop an eczema action plan. This is your personal guide and checklist for how to manage your eczema and prevent it from flaring up.
Some things your doctor may recommend include:
- moisturising daily even when your skin is healthy, and avoid any chemical additives in moisturisers that may trigger your eczema
- avoiding your triggers
- avoiding things that can damage or dry out your skin, like soap or bubble bath
- making sure your baths and showers arent too hot
- rinsing off chlorine from swimming pools straight after swimming
- avoiding overheating
- not wearing woollen fabrics directly on your skin
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Where They Show Up
Eczema often appears on parts of your body that bend, like your inner elbow or behind your knees. You can have it on your neck, wrists, and ankles. Babies sometimes get it on their chin, cheeks, scalp, chest, back, arms, and legs.
Psoriasis often shows up on places like your:
Infections can start up eczema, and so can stress, sweating, heat, humidity, and changes in your hormones.
Psoriasis shares some of these triggers, like stress and infection. But you can also get flare-ups when your skin is injured, for example by:
Some medications can also bring on a psoriasis flare, like lithium, which treats bipolar disorder, or drugs for malaria.
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Importance Of Eczema Treatment
There is growing evidence that allergens introduced into the body through the skin can lead to the later development of food allergy, asthma and hay fever. Aggressively treating eczema in children and taking steps to restore normal skin barrier function may lower the risk of future development of these conditions.
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Managing Your Work Life With Eczema
Eczema can affect how, when, and where you work. About 15 percent of the workday can be impacted by symptom flare-ups on average, according to a study published in August 2018 in JAMA Dermatology.
Regardless of disease severity, people with the disease are more likely to take five or more days off work each year compared with their coworkers not affected by eczema. For some people, that can mean having to work from home or otherwise have special accommodations at work, such as avoiding contact with irritating chemicals, notes the NEA.
You may need a doctors note for your employer, something that Yu says he has written for patients. Clearly communicate what you need and why so you can navigate work with eczema successfully.
Millions Live With Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is common worldwide. People of all ages from newborns to adults 65 years of age and older live with this condition. Symptoms range from excessively dry, itchy skin to painful, itchy rashes that cause sleepless nights and interfere with everyday life.
Atopic dermatitis is common
1 in 10 Americans has atopic dermatitis.
In the United States, research indicates that African American and Asian American children develop AD more often than white children.
When a child has deeply pigmented skin, AD tends to be diagnosed later in life. Sometimes, the condition is missed altogether because its less noticeable. In brown or black skin, you tend to see gray to violet-brown skin discoloration rather than red rashes.
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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
Baby Food Allergy Rash
Food allergy and food intolerance are often used interchangeably, but theyre very different. An allergy is an immune system response that causes a severe, often immediate reaction. Hives, lip swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, and wheezing may all be signs of an allergy. When a baby has an intolerance, hes missing the enzyme needed to break down a protein into digestible parts. This causes a milder reaction isolated in the digestive tract, like gas or cramps.
Symptoms of allergies and intolerances can occur when babies begin solids but also during exclusive formula-feeding or breastfeeding.
If your pediatrician suspects a food allergy, she may refer your child to an allergist who can perform skin prick tests and/or blood tests to confirm a diagnosis. Treatment usually focuses on avoiding trigger food, but its important that a doctor guides that plan. If you take food out of your childs diet that he isnt truly allergic to, this can actually make him more likely to have a reaction the next time he eats it.
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Knowing The Risk Factors
Why You Have Red Itchy Flaky Skin: Let Us Count The Ways
Does your unpredictable skin have you seeing red, with rough, flaky and scaly patches that are often itchy? Youre not alone. Almost half of the American population admits to having sensitive or very sensitive skin that often suffers from these symptoms. The good news is that by pinpointing the true cause of your condition, finding the best solution wont be as daunting. See if any of these common skin conditions might be the reason behind the unexplained redness on your skin.
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How To Tell If Your Itchy Rash Is Eczema Or Psoriasis
Youve got an itchy spot on your skin, and its more than simply a dry patch. You havent been around irritants, so contact dermatitis isnt likely. Chances are good it will come down to either eczema or psoriasis, but how do you know which is which?
If the itchy spot is extreme with visible changes or damage to your skin, then contacting Riviera Allergy Medical Center is the safest course of action to ward off a more serious issue. If the rash is at the nuisance level, you may be able to determine its origins at home.
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Contact Dermatitis Can Develop Anywhere On Your Skin
While contact dermatitis often develops on the hands, it can appear anywhere on your skin, including feet, lips, or groin area. Sometimes, the cause never directly touches your skin. For example, shoes can cause an allergic reaction on feet covered by socks.
Other times, the skin next to something that causes an allergic reaction may not rash. You may develop the rash elsewhere. For example, some people develop an allergic reaction to chemicals used in nail polish or artificial nails. Instead of developing a rash on their hands or feet, some people get a rash on their eyelids.
The skin around the eye is thin. If youre allergic to something on your fingers, such as an ingredient in a nail polish, briefly touching the skin around the eye could cause a rash.
Contact dermatitis caused by shoes
This man developed a serious allergic reaction to a resin in his shoes.
The rash around this womans eye was caused by an allergic reaction to her artificial nails.
While rare, the rash on a persons skin can also be caused by something inside their body. For example, some people develop an allergic reaction to a metal in an artificial hip or knee. A few patients have developed an allergic reaction to their pacemaker.
Find out if you have an increased risk of developing contact dermatitis by going to, Contact dermatitis: Causes.
ImagesImage 1: Getty Images
Images 2-10: Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
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Treating Eczema And Psoriasis
Dr. Mikell and our team specialize in diagnosing rashes and chronic skin conditions. First, well perform a physical exam to determine the cause of your rashes. Then well recommend a treatment strategy for you. Its possible to have both eczema and psoriasis at the same time.
Neither eczema or psoriasis has a cure, but Dr. Mikell offers several treatment options that can reduce flare-ups and calm your skin. Common treatments for eczema include topical or oral corticosteroids and trigger avoidance. If you have psoriasis, UVB light therapy with XTRACÂ® may offer relief.
You dont have to live with painful, itchy rashes. Find out whats causing your discomfort and get a treatment plan thats tailored for you. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry today.
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What Is A Staph Infection
According to the Mayo Clinic, staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, a type of germ commonly found on the skin or in the nose .
Although most staph infections results in skin infections, bacteria invading into other organs can cause life threatening forms of staph. This is why treating a staph infection is extremely important.
If you believe you might be suffering from an eczema staph infection, please seek medical professional help immediately.
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Medications And Prescribed Treatment
A variety of over-the-counter medications, like oral antihistamines and anti-itch cream can help manage the symptoms of a flare-up.
Symptoms of burning or inflammation can also be managed with acetaminophen , or an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen .
In more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe an oral corticosteroid , or corticosteroid creams or ointments.
Topical steroids or topical corticosteroids are some of the most commonly prescribed treatments for eczema, as they can reduce inflammation and itching and allow the skin to repair and heal.
These creams vary by strength and should only be used on the affected area.
There is evidence that immunosuppressant drugs may also help manage eczema, which often occurs as a result of immune system overload.
Oral prescription options include azathioprine, cyclosporine, methotrexate, and mycophenolate mofetil.
Side Effects From Prescribed Medication To Treat Eczema
Steroids such as hydrocortisone are usually prescribed by doctors or dermatologists to treat skin conditions like eczema. Steroid creams come in a range of strengths so be sure to do your research and understand what strength has been recommended for you and for how long. Steroid creams should not be used long term. If you have been using a steroid cream for months or even a few years to treat your eczema and you keep getting prescribed a stronger percentage, you should consider tapering off using them. Slowly.
Steroid creams, although may feel they have a short-term relief for your skin, they do not get to the root cause of your eczema. They suppress your bodys natural reaction at fighting inflammation. Your skin then gets used to this drug but will need a stronger dose over time when the lighter percentage is not effective anymore. Thus the vicious unsustainable cycle begins.
There are a range of side effects that can come from using topical steroid creams, including:
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Checklist For Diagnosing Atopic Eczema
Typically, to be diagnosed with atopic eczema you should have had an itchy skin condition in the last 12 months and 3 or more of the following:
- visibly irritated red skin in the creases of your skin, such as the insides of your elbows or behind your knees at the time of examination by a health professional
- a history of skin irritation occurring in the same areas mentioned above
- generally dry skin in the last 12 months
- a history of asthma or hay fever children under 4 must have an immediate relative, such as a parent, brother or sister, who has one of these conditions
- the condition started before the age of 2
How Do Symptoms Of Eczema And Ringworm Compare
Both eczema and ringworm tend to inflame and redden the skin and can make it dry, swollen, crusty, and itchy. In addition, both can happen almost anywhere on the body, head to toe.
One symptom that sometimes helps tell the difference is that ringworm often produces a scaly, ring-shaped rash, typically on the trunk, arms, or legs. But nummular, or âdiscoid,â eczema also produces a round, scaly rash that can look like ringworm.
If you think you have ringworm, but over-the-counter remedies fail to work, it may be time to see your doctor. You may have eczema, psoriasis, or some other skin condition. Only your doctor can tell for sure the source of your symptoms.
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Will My Baby Have Eczema All Her Life
In some babies with atopic dermatitis, the condition stays put. But, fortunately, eczema clears up in many babies by the time they turn 4 years old.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When Youâre Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
When To See Your Doctor
You should always see a doctor if you have symptoms of a skin infection.
At your appointment, theyll look at your skin and may take a sample to determine the type of infection you have. Youll then be prescribed the proper type of medication based on the source of your infection.
Your doctor can also offer treatments for the underlying eczema flare thats contributed to the infection. Theyll discuss prescription methods such as steroids for inflammation, as well as lifestyle measures.
Staphylococcus is a type of bacteria that lives on your skin, where it doesnt usually cause an infection.
Staph infections can occur when bacteria enter wounds from eczema or broken skin within your rashes.
Having eczema doesnt mean youll automatically get a staph infection, but it does make you more prone to bacterial skin infections. So its important to be aware of the signs of staph infection in case the bacteria enter broken skin.
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Diagnosing Food Allergy And Eczema Flare
- Your childâs doctor may suggest the steps listed below:
- Remove the suspected food or foods from your childâs diet for 2 weeks. The eczema should greatly improve.
- Then give your child that food when the eczema is under good control. This is called a âchallenge.â
- If the food is causing flare-ups, the eczema should become itchy and red. The flare-up should occur quickly within 2 hours of eating the food.
- If this occurs, avoid giving this food to your child. Talk to your childâs doctor about the need for any food substitutes.
- If the eczema does not flare-up, your child isnât allergic to that food.