Most commonly occurring on the arms, elbows, behind the knees, and in the creases of the eyelids, eczema causes skin irritation or inflammation. Our Forest Hills Medicare dermatologist wants to keep you informed about the causes, symptoms, and treatments that are associated with eczema, also called atopic dermatitis. While it can be uncomfortable, it is not dangerous. Usually it is just unpleasant and unsightly, but relief is available.
The exact causes of eczema remain uncertain, but it is believed that the most likely culprits are dry skin and the immune system. There is some reason to think that heredity plays a part too, but that is not for certain. Stress and emotional challenges contribute to eczema, sometimes worsening it. Eczema is known to be linked with breathing difficulties such as asthma and hay fever. There tends to be an association among these three allergic reactions, although this is not always the case. Our Forest Hills Medicare dermatologist will discuss your risk factors with you, including your genetic history and medical history.
Among the symptoms of eczema, the most typical is itchiness. Eczema is also frequently marked by lesions that can cover a large area of skin if left untreated. The temptation, naturally, is to want to scratch the itchy skin, but this is more likely to make the lesions become infected. Also watch for thickened skin that may have cracks and a scaly appearance, raw or sensitive skin (often due to scratching), and small, raised bumps that may leak fluid and form a crust when they are scratched. If you note any of these listed signs, call us and schedule an examination with our Forest Hills Medicare dermatologist.
Corticosteroids in the form of creams and ointments can be of great help in providing relief to both the itching and the scaling of your skin. Other treatment options include antibiotics when an infection is involved, injected or oral corticosteroids for more severe cases, antihistamines for more bothersome itching, and immunomodulators to help prevent your immune system from causing eczema flare-ups. Working in conjunction with our Forest Hills Medicare dermatologist, you can manage and ease the difficulties of eczema.