What Other Questions Might My Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Dermatitis
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 dermatitis located?
- What have you used to try to treat your dermatitis?
- What medical conditions do you have? Allergies? Asthma? Celiac disease?
- How long have you had symptoms of dermatitis?
- Do you take hot showers?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
- Are you around chemicals?
- Have you noticed that something triggers or worsens your dermatitis? Soaps? Detergents? Cigarette smoke?
- Is there so much pain or itchiness that you have trouble sleeping? Working? Just living your normal life?
Atopic Eczema On The Arms
People with atopic eczema experience redness in different areas of the body depending on their age. The arms are among the most commonly affected areas across all age groups.
Patches appear primarily on the outer arms in infants, on the elbow folds and wrists in children, and on the crook of the arms in adults .
Wear suitable clothing
Diagnosis Of Eczema During Pregnancy
Most of the time, your doctor will diagnose eczema or AEP simply by looking at your skin. A biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Let your doctor know about any changes you notice during your pregnancy. Your doctor will want to rule out any other conditions that could be causing your skin changes and make sure that your baby isnt affected.
Your doctor will want to know:
- when the skin changes began
- if youve changed anything in your routine or lifestyle, including diet, that may contribute to the changes to your skin
- about your symptoms and how they are impacting your daily life
- if youve noticed anything that makes your symptoms better or worse
Bring along a list of current medications you are taking, and any medications or treatments that youve already tried for the eczema.
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Natural Remedies For Eczema
If you search online, youll be flooded with natural remedies for eczema. Its important to note that complementary and alternative therapies for eczema are largely unproven. While the research is mixed, many eczema sufferers swear by their natural treatments.
If youre interested in natural remedies for eczema, its best to speak with a naturopathic doctor. A naturopathic doctor will help you pinpoint the cause of your eczema by looking at your vitamin D intake, your overall gut health and any food sensitivities you might have.
In a study discussing the benefits of various natural remedies for eczema, omega-3 supplements and probiotics were found to show great promise. The study concluded that a dietary intake of omega-3 supplements may have therapeutic effects on eczema symptoms. In addition, probiotics supplements may also help eczema by regulating the immune system and preventing the inflammation that comes with it.
What Causes Dermatitis
Dermatitis is caused by a combination of immune system activation, genetics and environmental triggers.
- Immune system. Sometimes your immune system overreacts. If you have atopic dermatitis, your immune system reacts to seemingly small irritants or allergens. This causes inflammation.
- Genetics. Researchers have observed that if others in your family have dermatitis, youre more likely to have it. Additionally, experts have identified changes to genes that control a protein that helps your body maintain healthy skin. Your skin cannot remain healthy without normal levels of that protein.
- Environment. Your environment may make your immune system change the protective barrier of your skin. That causes more moisture to escape, and that can lead to dermatitis. Possible environmental factors include exposure to tobacco smoke and some types of air pollutants. Fragrances in some skin products and soap are also possible.
- Exposure. Some types of dermatitis are caused by exposure to chemicals and other irritants. Perioral dermatitis, for example, may be caused by exposure to fluoride in water or toothpaste.
If you have dermatitis, you might also have another condition that doesnt cause it, but is often found alongside it:
- Sleep loss.
- When scratched, the rashes may ooze fluid or bleed.
Here are examples of signs and symptoms of common types of dermatitis:
Does stress cause dermatitis?
- Talk to friends and family, and to a therapist.
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What Should You Do
Consult with a doctor, who will help you identify the triggering allergen by asking the right questions and carrying out allergy patch tests. This will then enable you to avoid all products that contain this allergen in your daily routine.
Your doctor may also prescribe a topical corticosteroid to soothe itching and treat eczema.
Prevalence Of Eczema In Black People
Eczema is more likely to affect African American children than those from other racial backgrounds.
According to the National Eczema Association, 20.2% of African American children in the United States have some form of eczema. That is compared with 13% of Asian, 13% of Native American, 12.1% of white, and 10.7% of Hispanic children.
The same is not true of adults. Just 7.7% of African American adults have eczema, compared with 10.8% of Hispanic, 10.5% of white, 9.1% of Asian, and 7.8% of Native American adults.
More than 30 million people in the U.S. have some form of the condition. Overall, it is more common in women than in men.
Black people are likelier to develop more severe forms of eczema than people of other ethnicities.
On black skin, eczema can cause darker brown, purple, or gray patches. The affected areas may be swollen, warm, itchy, and dry or scaly.
Many black people with eczema experience more extensive dryness and dark circles around the eyes than people from other racial backgrounds.
Having eczema around the eyes can cause people to rub or scratch the area due to itchiness. This can cause the skin to thicken and bumps to form. These bumps are called prurigo nodules.
After a flare-up, the affected skin may look darker or lighter than the surrounding area. With proper treatment, the color will usually return to normal over time.
These bumps can develop around hair follicles, which is called follicular accentuation.
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Use A Moisturizer On Your Skin Every Day
Moisturizers help keep your skin soft and flexible. They prevent skin cracks. A plain moisturizer is best. Avoid moisturizers with fragrances and a lot of extra ingredients. A good, cheap moisturizer is plain petroleum jelly . Use moisturizers that are more greasy than creamy because creams usually have more preservatives in them.
Regular use of a moisturizer can help prevent the dry skin that is common in winter.
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 should I care for the rash if I have a flare-up?
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How Is Dermatitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will take a close look at your skin. They will look for classic signs of dermatitis such as a rash, redness, scales, dryness and more. They will ask about the symptoms youre experiencing. Are you itchy? Does your skin feel like its burning? Is your skin dry? Have you come into contact with anything that might irritate your skin?
When Adults Get It
You might notice itchy patches on the hands, elbows, and in the “bending” areas of the body, such as the inside of the elbows and back of the knees. But eczema can appear anywhere, including the neck, chest, and eyelids. People who had atopic dermatitis as a child may see drier, scaly rashes as adults. The skin may be discolored or thickened.
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Tips For Reducing Outbreaks
Here are a few ways to prevent eczema flare-ups and manage symptoms:
- Apply cool compresses to your skin, or take a colloidal oatmeal or baking soda bath to relieve the itch.
- Moisturize your skin daily with a rich, oil-based cream or ointment to form a protective barrier against the elements. Apply the cream right after you get out of the shower or bath to seal in moisture.
- After you bathe, gently blot your skin with a soft towel. Never rub.
- Avoid scratching. You could cause an infection.
- Use fragrance-free detergents, cleansers, makeup, and other skin care products.
- Wear gloves and protective clothing whenever you handle chemicals.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes made from soft fibers, like cotton.
You should also avoid any known triggers.
What Is It Like Living With Dermatitis
Dermatitis is both common and normal. Many people live with it.
Managing your symptoms is important for living with dermatitis. Do your best to keep your dermatitis under control. You can do this by following your healthcare providers instructions. Try your at-home remedies and take any prescribed medications.
You may find that there are times when your dermatitis disappears. This is known as a remission period. Other times you may have a flare up, which is when your dermatitis gets worse.
Do your best not to scratch your dermatitis as this can lead to infections and scars.
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What Worsens Dermatitis What Triggers It
Try your best to figure out what triggers your dermatitis. Its important to remember that it can affect people differently.
Is your dermatitis triggered by a chemical you clean with? Do you get it every time you go to your uncles house, because hes a smoker? Does your scalp feel itchy since you started that new shampoo? Did that rash on the inside of your wrist appear after you tried that new perfume? Does excessive sunlight make your dermatitis better or worse? Do you feel itchy every time you wear that wool sweater?
Remember what else worsens dermatitis: stress, hot showers, allergens like pollen and pet dander, etc. Find out what worsens your dermatitis and do your best to avoid it.
The Eight Different Types Of Eczema
The word eczema is used for a group of dermatological conditions characterized by inflammatory lesions, dryness, redness, intense itching, rash, scabs, and pimples on the skin. Eight types of eczema can be classified, and that we will see later. Although these dermatological disorders have been studied, the exact cause of why they occur is not yet known. It is known that genetics may be involved, but in many cases, environmental factors such as sun, humidity, pollution, allergies, among other things, also influence. You can get eczema at any age, and it can appear anywhere on the body.
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What Is Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema, affecting more than 9.6 million children and about 16.5 million adults in the United States. Its a chronic condition that can come and go for years or throughout life, and can overlap with other types of eczema.
In people with AD, for complex reasons science hasnt fully sorted out, the immune system becomes disordered and overactive. This triggers inflammation that damages the skin barrier, leaving it dry and prone to itching and rashes that may appear purple, brown or grayish hue in darker skin tones and red in lighter skin tones.
Research shows that some people with eczema, especially atopic dermatitis, have a mutation of the gene responsible for creating filaggrin. Filaggrin is a protein that helps our bodies maintain a healthy, protective barrier on the very top layer of the skin. Without enough filaggrin to build a strong skin barrier, moisture can escape and bacteria, viruses and more can enter. This is why many people with AD have very dry and infection-prone skin.
How Is Eczema Treated
If you’re diagnosed with eczema, your doctor might:
- prescribe medicines to put on the skin that soothe the redness and irritation, such as creams or ointments that contain corticosteroids
- recommend other medicines to take by mouth if the eczema is really bad or you get it a lot
If someone has severe eczema, ultraviolet light therapy can help clear up the condition. Newer medicines that change the way the skin’s immune system reacts also may help.
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When To See A Doctor
Usually minor cases of dermatitis can be resolved with self-care, but if your symptoms dont improve, you should visit a dermatologist to determine the best course of action for symptom management of eczema or dermatitis.
If your skin becomes painful, infected, or very uncomfortable, you should make a doctors appointment as soon as possible.
Wear Gloves To Protect The Skin On Your Hands
Wear vinyl or plastic gloves for work that requires you to have your hands in water. Also, wear gloves when your hands are exposed to anything that can irritate your skin. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to soak up sweat from your hands. Take occasional breaks and remove your gloves. This will prevent a buildup of sweat inside your gloves.
Wear gloves when you go outside during the winter. Cold air and low humidity can dry your skin. Dryness can make your eczema worse. Wear clothes made of cotton or a cotton blend. Wool and some synthetic fabrics can irritate your skin.
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Causes Of Discoid Eczema
The cause of discoid eczema is unknown, although it may happen as a result of having particularly dry skin.
When your skin is very dry it cannot provide an effective barrier against substances that come into contact with it. This could allow a previously harmless substance, such as soap, to irritate your skin.
It’s important to look carefully at all the chemicals in cosmetics and toiletries that may have come into contact with your skin. Contact dermatitis, a type of eczema caused by coming into contact with a particular irritant, may have a role in discoid eczema.
Some people with discoid eczema also have a history of atopic eczema, which often happens in people who are prone to asthma and hay fever. However, unlike atopic eczema, discoid eczema does not seem to run in families.
Are There Complications Of Dermatitis
There are complications that come with dermatitis. The following do not apply to all types, and do not apply to all people, but are still common:
- Viral skin infections. Try not to scratch because that can worsen the infection.
- Bacterial skin infections. Try not to scratch because that can worsen the infection.
- Sleep loss.
- Blepharitis .
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What Are The Types And What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
The National Eczema Association has identified seven main types of eczema. If youve ever wondered, What are the symptoms of eczema? were here to help you understand the symptoms associated with different types of eczema.
1. Atopic dermatitis
- Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. AD is chronic that can last throughout an entire persons life. AD is caused by the mutation of the gene that creates filaggrin. Filaggrin is a protein found in the body that creates a protective barrier on the top layer of skin. Without filaggrin, AD is more likely to develop as moisture more easily leaves the skin without its protective barrier. There are many root causes of any skin condition, however, its good to be aware that stress is a common trigger resulting in stress-related eczema.
- How to know if you have atopic eczema:
- Rash forms in elbow and knee creases
- Skin where the rash is may be discolored, red, or thick
- Small bumps can appear and leak fluid
2. Contact Dermatitis
4. Dyshidrotic Eczema
5. Nummular eczema
Is There A Difference Between Eczema And Dermatitis
Although the terms dermatitis and eczema may overlap in how theyre used, specific types of skin conditions are better known by just one of the names. For example, many doctors use the terms atopic dermatitis and eczema interchangeably but wouldnt use the term contact dermatitis in place of eczema.
There are also a number of distinct types of eczema and dermatitis, and, to complicate matters, its possible to have more than one type at the same time.
While both eczema and dermatitis typically cause redness and itching, some types also cause blistering and peeling.
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Is It Cradle Cap
“Cradle cap” in babies is a condition that doctors call seborrheic eczema or seborrheic dermatitis. It appears as oily, scaly patches on the scalp. In contrast, atopic dermatitis is more often found on the cheeks, though it can also affect the scalp. Also unlike eczema, cradle cap typically isnât itchy. Usually cradle cap clears up without treatment in a few weeks or months.
When To Seek Professional Help
You should see a doctor if you think you have a skin allergy so that you can have patch testing performed. If your patch testing comes up positive for a skin allergy, your doctor can prescribe topical or oral steroids to treat your contact dermatitis.
Irritant and allergic contact dermatitis can worsen with a bacterial infection. If your rash has exudate or pus, weeping, or crusting, schedule an appointment with your doctor to receive further treatment.
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