So you’ve made your first ever dermatology appointment. Whether you are going in for your…
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a very common skin condition that affects about 3% of the entire population of the United States and 10% of toddlers. It most often appears in children younger than 5 and can persist into adolescence and adulthood.
Thankfully, eczema symptoms can be mitigated through proper treatment — and some people may not experience flare-ups for many years at a time! However, recognizing the onset of a flare-up is crucial for finding effective relief quickly.
Below we’ve categorized the symptoms of eczema, and the ways you can stay protected year-round.
Understanding the Symptoms of Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
Unfortunately, most cases of eczema can be traced to a family history of eczema, asthma, allergies or hay fever. However, only 20% of individuals with a family history with eczema will carry the condition. Food allergies can lead to a development of eczema for some children.
Symptoms of eczema can include:
- Mild to severe itching, especially at night
- Sensitive, swollen skin from scratching
- Red to brownish-gray patches, generally located on neck, ankles, wrists, chest, eyelids, inside elbows and knees
- Dry skin
The unbearable itching can lead to broken skin, which bleeds and crusts over. When this occurs, risk of infection is high, so it’s crucial to receive medical treatment.
Although some more mild cases of eczema may go away on their own, not all cases of eczema follow the same pattern, so early intervention may be necessary to reduce the severity and duration of the disease.
How to Address Eczema
Before a bout of dermatitis flares up, you should be proactive in reducing the environmental factors that can lead to irritated, inflamed skin.
These steps include:
- Avoiding the triggers that worsen the condition. Sweat, soaps, detergents, dust, pollen and stress can aggravate your eczema. Do your best to understand your triggers and take steps to reduce your exposure.
- Moisturize your skin regularly. Be proactive in using creams, lotions and ointments to help restore (or lock in) moisture to your skin.
- Shorten your bathtime. Keep showers and baths to no more than 15 minutes and use warm, instead of hot, water.
- Adopt gentler products. Use only mild soaps that won’t dry your skin.
Although these tips can help prevent future flare-ups, some bouts of dermatitis may be unavoidable and require dermatologist treatment.
Cumberland Skin and Your Eczema
The team of doctors at Cumberland Skin are trained in addressing the signs and symptoms of eczema and can provide solutions for sustained relief.
During your appointment, we’ll discuss avoiding irritating factors in creams and lotions; woolens; and rough, tight or scratchy clothing. We’ll also discuss proper bathing and moisturizing etiquette in order to mitigate your current or future condition.
In addition, we can prescribe external medications, like steroids and immune system-modifying creams, as well as internal medications, like antihistamines, to fully address your symptoms and the itchiness you’re experiencing.
At the end of the day, eczema is a very common condition that, with proper treatment, can be controlled in the majority of people. Although you can take steps to reduce your symptoms, sometimes medical treatment is necessary, and Cumberland Skin is capable of providing the necessary treatment for your unique skin needs.
Learn How Cumberland Skin Can Treat Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) in Tennessee.
Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology provides effective, compassionate general dermatology, skin cancer surgery and cosmetic dermatology solutions for our patients throughout the Southeast. With offices in Hermitage, Lebanon, Brentwood and Hendersonville, Tennessee, we’re your destination for high-caliber skincare. Visit our website at cumberlandskin.com or give us a call today at 615-257-7128.