Eczema is a skin condition that can develop at any age. Some kids grow out of it as they age, but that is not always the case. It can affect different areas of skin on the body, especially the scalp, hands, behind the knees, and inside the elbows. Eczema can also affect the genitals and other areas of the skin.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a type of dermatitis that causes patches of skin to become bumpy, itchy, and dry. This condition weakens the skin’s barrier function responsible for helping it retain moisture and protect the body from outside elements.
Types of Eczema
Different stages and types of eczema affect more than 10 percent of the American population. Most people think of atopic dermatitis when using the word eczema. However, there are several types, including:
Each type has unique triggers, and it is possible to develop more than one simultaneously.
The main symptom of this skin condition is irritated, itchy, inflamed, dry, flaky, and rough skin. It can subside, flare up, and then subside again. Eczema often becomes less severe with age and is not contagious. Other symptoms include:
Raw-feeling or sore skin
Scaly, thickened skin
Brownish-gray or red patches
Crusty patches of yellowish ooze that signal infection
Raised bumps on the skin that secrete fluid when scratched
Many people experience worse symptoms at night that make it difficult to sleep. Scratching the affected areas further inflames and irritates the skin, which can cause infections.
Sometimes, mild eczema is manageable by keeping skin moisturized and avoiding triggers. However, you should see a Board Certified Dermatologist if your symptoms are worsening or are challenging to manage. Make an appointment if your condition is not responding to over-the-counter treatments or your symptoms keep you up at night.
It is necessary to seek treatment if your skin is peeling, blistering, scaly, too thick, or secreting fluids. Treatment is essential if you have trouble completing everyday tasks due to your symptoms.
How to Control Eczema
There is no cure for this skin condition. Fortunately, many treatments and therapies can help you manage your condition. Treatments include prescription medication, over-the-counter therapies, or lifestyle changes depending on the type and severity of eczema.
Since symptoms are not the same for everyone, no single treatment will work in the same way for everyone. So, you should learn about all the options available and consult your doctor to determine the treatment that works for you or your child.
For most forms of eczema, managing your skin condition comes down to several basics. You should know your triggers, implement a proper bathing and moisturizing technique, use prescription medications as prescribed, and watch for signs of infection.
Many people live with this condition, but it can be challenging if not well controlled. There are periods of remissions and flare-ups. The treatment goal is to relieve your symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Visit your Board Certified Dermatologist if your symptoms worsen or fail to go away after treatment.
For more on eczema, visit Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center at our Deerfield Beach, Florida office. Call 954-799-9600 to schedule an appointment today.