5 Dermatologist-Approved Treatments for Eczema
Did you know that 31.6 million people in the US have some form of eczema? Eczema is a skin condition that can be acute, chronic or a combination of both. Acute eczema has minimal and short-lived symptoms that don’t recur regularly. Chronic eczema lasts for weeks and sometimes takes up to a season to calm down. The trickiest part about managing this condition is identifying the exact type and its causes. In this article, we will discuss eczema in detail and how it can be treated.
While this article spells out some important information about 5 dermatologist-approved treatments for eczema, we highly recommend you read the full article, here are the key points we will focus on:
Table of Contents
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a group of skin conditions that affects people of all ages, ethnicities, and locations. In fact, approximately 1 in 10 individuals will deal with eczema during their lifetime. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, including itching, redness, and irritation. This condition is more common in females in comparison to men, and more common in infants and young children because their immune systems aren’t fully developed yet and they’re more likely to be exposed to ground allergens like dust mites or pet dander in their homes or daycare centers.
Eczema can make your skin miserably itchy, and you might feel less confident about the way you look because of its visible symptoms. None of these conditions are contagious. They cannot be cured, but the majority of symptoms can be prevented and the breakthrough symptoms can be treated by a medical professional. The trick is to identify the exact type and the causes. At Bryn Mawr Dermatology our board-certified dermatologists can recommend effective treatments and therapies to calm this condition and make you feel more confident in your skin.
How is Eczema Diagnosed?
To diagnose eczema, a Bryn Mawr dermatologist will have to examine your skin. A detailed history is required about the skin symptoms you’re experiencing and the duration of those symptoms. To rule out other skin conditions and confirm a diagnosis dermatologists may suggest one or more of the following tests:
4 Causes of Eczema
Eczema triggers can come in various forms, such as underlying diseases like high blood pressure or kidney disease, internal imbalances like stress or a lack of sleep, environmental allergens and humidity, or irritants we encounter. Genetic factors may also make us susceptible to eczema flares. The most common causes include:
- Immune system: In eczema, your immune system overreacts to irritants or allergens, which can inflame your skin.
- Genetics: You’re more prone to it if your family has a history of skin disease. There’s a chance that a change occurs in your genes that control protein levels in your body because, without normal levels of that protein, your skin won’t be completely healthy.
- Environmental Triggers: Many irritants in the environment can make your skin itchy and inflamed, for example, tobacco smoke, harsh soaps, fabrics, and dyes can trigger flares. Heat and a humid atmosphere can cause sweating, making the itchiness worse.
- High stress levels can cause eczema or worsen it due to its influence over your immune system.
7 Types of Eczema
There are seven types of eczema, and anyone can be affected by it. The most common types include:
- Atopic dermatitis: This type of eczema is the most common and often seen in children. It is caused by over-sensitivity to intrinsic and environmental irritants. It also occurs commonly in individuals who have allergies.
- Contact dermatitis: This refers to the skin irritation that occurs when the skin comes in contact with a substance to which an individual is sensitive. Some common examples of irritants are dyes, fragrances, and certain metals.
- Dyshidrotic eczema: Common symptoms include small and itchy fluid-filled blisters on the hands and feet and often occur as a result of constant exposure to water.
- Nummular eczema: This type of eczema causes an acute rash that presents as disc-shaped areas of inflammation that may or may not have oozing sores. This type is commonly caused by physical damage like bug bites, scrapes or chemical burns.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This type results from the body’s immune system overreacting to the overgrowth of yeast cells. This is commonly seen on the scalp in the form of dandruff. It can also occur on the eyebrows, ears, and around the nose.
- Stasis dermatitis: This usually happens due to an underlying medical condition. It presents as bands of inflammation, swelling, and discolored skin resulting from poor circulation and the corresponding pooling of water and blood cells.
- Neurodermatitis: This type is caused by the physical act of chronically scratching the skin. The origin of the itch cannot always be identified, but the act of scratching the itch causes the itching to become more intense. This leads to an itch-scratch cycle that is hard to break.
5 Dermatologist-Approved Treatments for Eczema
Every eczema patient is different; treatment depends on the skin condition and how your body responds to it. At Bryn Mawr Dermatology, dermatologists suggest remedies in the clinic and therapies at home or at work according to the intensity of the reaction. For the treatment to be effective, the underlying cause needs to be identified first. Certain types of medication may also result in eczema symptoms.
The best treatment is proactive intervention to remove or reduce the trigger. And when that doesn’t work, we have daily skin care regimens, prescription medications, and some new systemic medications to help treat symptoms.
Here are 5 recommended treatments for eczema that you should know about:
1. Behavioral changes
Small and simple behavioral shifts can help in preventing symptoms. For example, it can begin by reducing the length, temperature, and frequency of showers. Avoid extremes of temperature and ensure daily application of moisturizers.
2. Topical treatment
Topical anti-inflammatories calm the irritated skin. Topical steroids work very well but are not a good choice for long term treatment as they are associated with side effects such as thinning and discoloration of the skin and a different type of rash.
3. Oral medication
Dermatologists may prescribe prescription or over-the-counter steroids that can help minimize flare-ups.
4. Gentle cleansers
Simple changes in your daily hygiene routine can make a big difference. Skin experts recommend gentle, non-irritating cleansers that aren’t harsh on the face and other parts of the body. We recommend the CLn Facial and Body Cleanser, which is great for patients with eczema.
There is a new injectable medication for eczema called Dupixent that helps to modify the immune system’s overreaction to stimuli. It is currently the only preventive medication on the market, and has shown amazing results for complicated cases as well.
When Should I See a Dermatologist to Treat Eczema?
It is highly recommended to see a dermatologist if you need treatment for eczema, or if you are experiencing symptoms that affect your sleep and daily activities. If these symptoms don’t go away even after trying self-care steps, it is a sign that you’re suffering from a skin condition that requires professional intervention. The dermatologists at Bryn Mawr Dermatology can recommend effective medication to soothe itchiness and rough, scaly skin. Changes to daily lifestyle routines can also help minimize eczema lesions.
Why Choose Bryn Mawr Dermatology for Eczema Treatment?
At Bryn Mawr Dermatology, we are here to help you control your eczema. Our board-certified dermatologists are a great resource if you need help treating eczema and will recommend treatments for effective results. If you are experiencing eczema symptoms, please visit Bryn Mawr Dermatology for a personalized consultation.
If you have raised red patches of skin covered with silvery scales, you may have psoriasis. Book an appointment with a Bryn Mawr dermatologist today for a skin examination and personalized treatment plan.