Eczema, Psoriasis, severe dry skin, flare-up, treatments, managing eczema

Eczema

Eczema is more than dry skin. Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a term used to describe various chronic skin conditions that cause excessive dryness, redness, itching, and inflammation. It affects people of all ages, from infants to seniors, nearly a third of Americans daily. This condition can be caused by several factors, including genetics, environment, and immune system dysfunction.

The unknown triggers of eczema can leave you walking on eggshells and struggling to avoid the next flare-up. Some flare-ups are triggered by stress, certain foods, or exposure to irritants like chemicals or fabrics.

Although there is no cure, effective treatment options are available to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Some options available to help manage and alleviate these symptoms, range from over-the-counter creams to prescription medications. Additionally, making lifestyle changes like avoiding irritants and taking shorter showers can also help improve eczema symptoms. While eczema can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition, with the right care and treatment, it is possible to manage and control its symptoms.

Our very own Dr. Hawley is an expert in diagnosing and managing eczema and is always up-to-date on the leading treatments that can help this chronic and debilitating condition.

Talk with Dr. Hawley to discover your triggers and establish a personal skin routine so you can regain control of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is eczema and how do you pronounce it? Is it like "ek-zee-ma" or "eh-zeh-ma"?

  • Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. It causes red, itchy, and sometimes painful rashes on the skin. The word "eczema" originates from the Greek term "ekzein," which means "to boil out," but you won't boil over with frustration trying to pronounce it. While many might say "ek-zee-ma," the correct pronunciation is actually "EG-zuh-muh."

Can I catch eczema from someone else?

  • Eczema is not contagious, however, individuals may wonder whether they can catch eczema from other people. The answer is no. Eczema is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and while it can be triggered by exposure to irritants or allergens, it is not contagious. However, it is important to note that some people with eczema may have an increased risk of developing a staph infection, which can be contagious.

What are some common triggers for eczema flare-ups?

  • Common triggers can range from environmental factors such as pollen or dust, to lifestyle factors such as stress or diet. Additionally, certain fabrics or chemicals found in personal care products can also irritate the skin. Keeping a log of potential triggers and taking steps to minimize exposure can help prevent future flare-ups.

Is there a cure for eczema?

  • While there is currently no known cure for eczema, there are various treatments available that can alleviate symptoms and reduce the severity of flare-ups. These treatments may include prescription creams, ointments, and oral medications, as well as lifestyle changes. For instance, taking shorter, lukewarm showers and avoiding skin irritants such as harsh soaps and fragrances can help to manage eczema symptoms. Additionally, staying hydrated and moisturizing the skin regularly may also be helpful.

Can eczema be treated with natural remedies?

  • Certain natural remedies may help to alleviate symptoms such as dryness, itching, and inflammation. For example, some people have found relief with coconut oil, oatmeal baths, and aloe vera gel. However, it's important to talk to your doctor before trying any new remedies to make sure they are safe and won't interfere with any other treatments you may be using.

How can I prevent eczema from worsening?

  • One of the most important things you can do is keep your skin moisturized. Regularly applying a gentle moisturizer can help reduce dryness and irritation, which can trigger eczema flare-ups. It's also important to avoid harsh soaps and detergents that can be drying and irritating to the skin. Wearing loose-fitting, breathable clothing and avoiding overheating can also help prevent eczema from worsening.

Can I still use skincare products if I have eczema?

  • Many people with eczema are understandably apprehensive about using skincare products, but the truth is that it's still possible to get the benefits of effective skincare, even if you're dealing with this condition. The key is to find skincare products that are specially formulated for those with eczema, as these will be free from common irritants that can trigger flare-ups. Look for products that contain gentle, nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and colloidal oatmeal, which can help soothe and hydrate the skin without causing irritation. Additionally, be sure to patch-test any new products before applying them all over your body.

Can diet and lifestyle changes help with eczema?

  • Making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can make a positive impact on your eczema. Certain foods, like dairy and gluten, have been known to trigger eczema flare-ups, so avoiding those foods could help improve symptoms. Additionally, staying hydrated, managing stress, and practicing good sleep hygiene can also have a positive effect on your eczema. It's important to note that everyone's body is different, so it may take some trial and error to find the best path for you. However, by taking control of your diet and lifestyle, and working with your healthcare provider, you can take steps towards potentially improving your eczema symptoms.