Eczema comes from a Greek word that means “to boil over,” and it describes several skin conditions characterized by patches of itchy, red, and inflamed skin. The condition is common; it afflicts over 30 million people in the US.
There are several different types of eczema and they include the following:
• Stasis dermatitis
• Seborrheic dermatitis
• Contact dermatitis
• Atopic dermatitis
The different types of eczema vary in their symptoms, triggers, and treatments. They can also range from mild to severe. It is also possible for a patient to have more than one type. It is, therefore, imperative for somebody who suspects that they or a child has eczema to see a dermatologist.
How is Eczema Treated?
While there is no cure for eczema, there are treatments that can control the symptoms and make the patient more comfortable. In many cases, we will start by recommending over-the-counter medications. We may also prescribe topical treatments to reduce inflammation and control the symptoms. In more severe cases, we may prescribe other products or treatments.
While scientists haven’t yet determined the exact cause of eczema, they do know that an overactive immune system is part of the problem. As such, certain medication controls the immune system to relieve the patient’s symptoms.
How Should Somebody Manage Their Condition?
We will recommend that the patient take note of any triggers or environmental factors that cause flare-ups. Most cases of eczema have periods of remission, during which the patient looks and feels fine. A trigger ends that remission and causes the patient to have a bout of eczema. Common triggers include the following:
• Pet saliva and dander
• Household cleaning products
• Fruit juices
• Scratchy fabrics like wool
• Lots of sweating
Once the patient has identified the trigger, they can avoid it.