Eczema Treatment in Dallas, Texas
What is eczema?
Eczema is a collection of conditions that cause the skin to become irritated and inflamed. Often, patients with eczema will experience itchy, red, dry, and sometimes cracked skin. The condition, which is not contagious, may first present itself during infancy, with symptoms and the condition usually disappearing with age. However, in some cases, eczema may also continue from infancy into adulthood. Patients who did not have eczema during infancy or during their younger years may still develop eczema in adulthood. Eczema can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, elbows, wrists, and back of the knees. Symptoms, affected areas, and treatment options will vary depending on the cause of the condition, as well as the type of eczema that is affecting the skin.
Types of eczema may include:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic dermatitis
- Nummular dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis
What causes eczema?
Causes of eczema may include:
- Abnormalities of the immune system
- Environmental factors, e.g., living in high pollution areas
- Engaging in activities that cause skin sensitivity
- Weaknesses in the skin
Eczema is not an allergic reaction. However, there may be certain irritants or triggers that can cause eczema flare-ups, including:
- Cigarette smoke
- Having a cold or flu
- Having an infection
- Allergic reactions
- Living in a dry climate
- Taking long or hot showers
What are the symptoms of eczema?
Symptoms of eczema can occur in almost any region of the body but typically occur on the face, neck, wrists, elbows, groin, ankles, and the back of the knees. Eczema can also present itself on the scalp. Symptoms of eczema may include:
- Extremely itchy skin
- Dry skin
- Skin sensitivity due to excessive scratching
- Inflammation and redness of the skin
- Areas of darkened skin
- Skin feels rough, leathery, or scaly
- Leaky, pus-filled bumps on the skin that scab over when scratched
- Open skin sores
How is eczema diagnosed?
Eczema is usually diagnosed through a thorough skin exam. Your doctor may review your medical history and ask that you describe any behaviors, products, or foods that you believe may be causing the skin to flare up. Your doctor may also recommend what is known as patch testing, along with other testing methods, to help confirm a diagnosis.
Can eczema lead to complications if left untreated?
Left untreated, continuous scratching of the skin can cause open sores, which may lead to infection.
How is eczema treated?
While there is no cure for eczema, there are treatment options and self-care methods available to help provide symptom relief. Depending on the type of eczema, treatment options will vary. Treatment options for adult eczema may also differ from treatment options for baby or infant eczema. Your doctor can help determine which treatment option may be best for you or your child. In general, treatment options for adult eczema may include:
- Over-the-counter medication
- Topical medications
- Ultraviolet light therapy
- Clinical trials
Treatment options for baby eczema may include:
- Avoiding the use of skin irritants on the infant’s skin
- Keeping the infant out of extreme hot or cold temperatures
- Moisturizing the infant’s skin with certain creams, ointments, or oils
Self-care methods or at-home treatments to help alleviate symptoms of eczema may include:
- Using a gentle soap or a soap substitute
- Moisturizing the skin once a day and after showering
- Using small amounts of bleach while bathing to help kill bacteria on the skin
- Taking shorter, warmer showers
- Reducing levels of stress
- Utilizing a humidifier device to help moisturize the air
- Wearing clothing options that do not irritate the skin
If you are experiencing symptoms of eczema that are interfering with your quality of life, a consultation with an experienced dermatologist may be the first step towards helping restore the appearance and health of your skin. At Dermatology Treatment and Research Center, our board-certified physicians hold expertise in clinical, cosmetic, and general dermatology and are ready to provide you with high-quality expert care in a friendly and compassionate atmosphere. Call 972.661.2729 or fill out the form on this page to book an appointment.