Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin disease that typically begins in early childhood. The primary symptom of eczema is dry and itchy skin. Other symptoms could include:
- Red or brownish patches on the hands, feet, neck, upper chest, or other parts of the body
- Small, raised bumps that secrete fluid and form an outer crust after scratching
- Scaly or cracked skin
- Sensitive or swollen skin from persistent scratching
The main cause of eczema is currently thought to be a "leaky" skin barrier that allows moisture to escape. Exposure to allergens from soaps, detergents, dust mites, pollen, animal dander, and other sources may cause a flare-up of eczema, since these substances contain proteins that break apart the links between skin cells.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Eczema is relatively easy to diagnose. In fact, your doctor or a trained allergist may only need to perform a visual inspection of your skin's affected areas in order to provide an accurate diagnosis.
There are several treatment options available to fight this condition, including:
- Creams that reduce itchiness and help repair the leaky skin,
- Antibiotic drugs or creams (if the cause of your eczema is a bacterial infection),
- Injectable biologics (for people with severe eczema that don't respond well to other treatments),
- Behavior modification therapy, designed to help sufferers stop persistent scratching,
- Lifestyle changes (such as avoidance of allergens or irritants that trigger a flare-up)
Eczema can be a very uncomfortable, and even embarrassing condition. However, there are many treatments available today that can reduce your discomfort and help you to enjoy a high quality of life despite this disease. If you suffer from eczema, the trained medical professionals at Allergy and Asthma Care of Waco can help you to effectively cope with this issue.