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Niceville (Bluewater Bay), FL

Niceville (Bluewater Bay), FL

Managing and Treating Your Eczema: What You Should Know

When you see blotches of dry, red, itchy skin on your body, you may be troubled or irritated. The urge to scratch may be overwhelming, and you may be embarrassed by any visible skin irritation. This kind of skin inflammation or irritation can often be attributed to eczema, a long-lasting condition that can linger or return multiple times throughout your life.

Eczema can be hard to live with, and managing eczema can take a bit of careful treatment and care. Below, we’ll discuss how you can treat and manage eczema. But to understand why these treatments and prevention tips are useful and sometimes necessary, we’ll also address what eczema is and what it’s caused by.

What is Eczema?

The term eczema essentially covers a number of conditions that involve irritated or inflamed skin. These rashes are commonly found on the face, wrists, feet, and hands and behind the knees, but eczema isn’t limited to these areas.

Also known as dermatitis, eczema flare-ups are often itchy and can become itchier if you scratch any irritated or inflamed skin. Rashes can be excessively dry, and the skin may look scaly or thicker than usual. For those with darker skin, eczema can sometimes make the skin appear lighter in affected areas, and for those with fair skin, the irritation may first be red and then change to brown.

Eczema is more common in infants, who may later grow out of their eczema, but some adults and older children are still affected. Fortunately, eczema isn’t contagious, but it is often caused by environmental influences and genetics.

What Causes Eczema?

Dermatological specialists aren’t certain as to what causes eczema, but they have a few solid speculations. Humans have an oily skin barrier that keeps the skin hydrated, but many people with eczema don’t have a very effective oily skin barrier, leading to dry, itchy skin.

Eczema may also be caused by an overzealous bodily response to irritants. In other words, those with eczema are fairly sensitive to allergens, such as pet dander, dust mites, mold, and pollen. Many people with eczema also have hay fever or asthma. Eczema symptoms can also be the result of infections, pollution, climate changes, diet, and other factors.

How Can You Minimize or Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups?

One of the best ways to manage eczema is to avoid possible irritants or factors that lead to skin irritation or inflammation. Do your best to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. Don’t use any solvents, lotions, detergents, bubble bath products, or soaps that may aggravate your eczema, such as those with heavy fragrances, and avoid humidity or temperature changes as much as you can. Too hot or cold temperatures can make your symptoms worse.

Stress has also been known exacerbate eczema flare-ups, so take the time to relax and unwind when you can and stay away from stressful situations. Don’t wear any rough clothing that may scratch at the affected areas, and whatever you do, don’t scratch at the areas yourself. Infants can benefit from trimmed nails and anti-scratch mittens, and rubbing the area can sometimes satisfy an overwhelming itch.

Because skin irritation is often the result of overly dry skin, you may want to invest in some quality emollients. Emollients are creams, lotions, and ointments that effectively keep the skin moisturized. Be sure to apply emollients every day, even when your skin looks hydrated and healthy.

You’ll also want to take note of any foods that worsen your symptoms so you can avoid them in the future. Common food allergies include wheat, eggs, soy, fish, nuts, and cow’s milk.

How Can You Treat Eczema?

If you notice scaly, itchy patches of skin irritation on your body, visit a skin doctor for some relief. They’ll ask you few questions and take a look at your eczema, and because eczema is often related to allergies, the doctor may do a few allergy tests to pin down possible irritants you should avoid.

He or she can also prescribe ointments or creams for your condition to reduce skin inflammation. If you have a skin infection, a dermatologist may also prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection.

To reduce itching, you may be given tar treatments or antihistamines, and for general treatment, phototherapy, or light therapy, has been known to help with the symptoms of eczema. Skin doctors can also recommend emollients or products you can use on a daily basis after bathing or other activities. They can help you understand what causes your flare-ups and what you should avoid.

If you suspect you have eczema, use the information above to manage and treat your condition. For the help of a specialist, turn to Dermatology Surgery Center. We treat numerous skin conditions, and our knowledgeable staff can help minimize your skin irritation and inflammation. Contact our dermatologists today by calling (850) 897-7546.

Dermatology Surgery Center - Niceville, FL (Bluewater Bay)