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Understanding and Preventing Common Eczema Causes

Eczema can be an embarrassing skin condition that leaves you with itchy, inflamed, scaly skin on your hands, feet, knees, chest, elbows, wrists, and other body parts. If not treated properly, eczema will increase in severity and longevity. Let’s look at the various types of eczema and the available treatment options to ensure that your eczema doesn’t get worse.


Understanding Eczema (Dermatitis)

Did you know that more than 30 million Americans suffer from some form of eczema? If your skin is often red and itchy, you are likely experiencing eczema/dermatitis. In addition to red and itchy skin, you will notice dry, cracked or scaly skin often accompanied by small, raised bumps. Eczema can appear sporadically or continuously on your face, scalp, hands, feet, and other body parts. It can occur at any age and with any gender. Eczema is often related to a family history of allergies, hay fever, or asthma, but it can be caused by other things as well.


Common Eczema (Dermatitis) Causes

A good first step toward treating and managing eczema is to learn exactly what it is. Eczema reveals itself in a variety of types and from a variety of causes, some known and some unknown. Specific types of eczema can include atopic dermatitis, irritant/allergic contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis has no known cause, but many people are born with it. It is thought to come from an altered skin barrier or immune system defect. Dyshidrotic eczema and seborrheic dermatitis often affect the hands, feet, scalp, face and other body areas in the form of blisters. Like atopic dermatitis, the cause of these conditions is unknown. Irritant/allergic dermatitis results from skin exposure to irritating chemicals such as bleach or harsh cleansers.

Make sure to look at your symptoms, their severity, and how often you have flare up. This will help determine what kind of eczema you are experiencing. Even though eczema causes are many and various, there are many treatments to help lessen its effects. A certified dermatologist can assist you with any of these treatments.


Eczema (Dermatitis) Treatment

While eczema can often be diagnosed visually, biopsies and patch testing can also help diagnose it. After diagnosis, it is important to seek treatment from a certified dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute. A dermatologist will be able to provide you with skin care recommendations and/or any necessary medications. Dermatologists may also recommend:

  • Taking a shower instead of a bath and using lukewarm water
  • Skipping standard bar soap and opting for a mild cleansing bar that won’t irritate your skin
  • Wearing soft cotton clothes and avoiding wool if possible
  • Moisturizing with non-perfumed moisturizers and using them often, especially after bathing
  • Topical steroids, non-steroid treatments, antibiotics, oral antihistamines, and phototherapy or laser treatments

If you’re in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding area and you suffer from eczema, contact the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute. Our dermatologists can provide you with quality care and help get you the results you need.

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