What is eczema?
Eczema, also referred to as “atopic dermatitis” is a skin condition that makes your skin itchy and flaky. Doctors do not know what causes eczema but most patients with eczema have allergies.
What are the symptoms of eczema?
- In babies, eczema tends to affect the front of the arms and legs, cheeks, or scalp. (The diaper area is not usually affected.)
- In older children and adults, eczema often affects the sides of the neck, the elbow creases, and the backs of the knees. Adults can also get it on their face, wrists, hands, and forearms. The skin can also become thick and dark. It might even forms scars from too much scratching.
Can I reduce my symptoms?
- Use unscented thick moisturizing creams or ointments to keep the skin from getting too dry.
- Avoid becoming too hot or sweaty.
- Avoid stress or worry.
- Avoid sudden temperature changes or being in very dry air.
- Avoid all fragranced products including perfumes, lotions, hand soaps and detergents.
- Avoid wool or synthetic fabrics.
How is eczema treated?
- Moisturizing creams or ointments – These products help keep your skin moist.
- Steroid creams and ointments – They relieve itching and redness.
- Medicines that change the way the immune system works – These medicines are only for people who do not get better with safer treatment options.
- Antihistamine pills – Antihistamines can help relieve itching.
- Light therapy –Doctors do not use light therapy much. During light therapy, your skin is exposed to a special kind of light called ultraviolet light.