Eczema is a group of skin conditions that cause dry, irritated, itchy skin. Often, eczema occurs in children, who typically outgrow it. However, it may develop in people of any age.
Types of Eczema
- Allergic contact dermatitis, an itchy inflamed rash that develops after an allergic reaction.
- Dyshidrotic eczema, small fluid-filled blisters on the hands.
- Nummular eczema, round lesions that can start after an injury.
- Neurodermatitis, which causes an itch-scratch cycle that results in rough leathery skin.
- Seborrheic dermatitis, which causes scaly, itchy skin on the scalp.
- Dry skin.
- Inflamed red skin.
- Rough skin.
- Severe itching.
- Dark skin patches.
- Thickened skin that grows rough or leathery.
- Oozing skin wounds.
- Swollen patches of skin.
Common Triggers of Eczema
The cause of eczema is not known, though the following risk factors may trigger it:
- Family history of eczema.
- Extreme temperatures.
- Low humidity.
- Female gender.
- Presence of food or pollen allergies.
- Hormonal changes.
- Bath products with additives.
- Strenuous exercise.
- Exposure to some metals, such as nickel.
- Scratchy fabrics, including wool.
Eczema Diagnosis and Treatment
Make an appointment at Pensacola Dermatology, where a board-certified dermatologist can perform a skin exam. A doctor may need to do a skin patch test to diagnose your eczema. Once diagnosed, treatments may include the following:
- Topical treatments, including corticosteroids and emollients (moisturizers).
- Oral medication, including antihistamines and daily steroids.
- Phototherapy, which involves controlled use of ultraviolet light.
Eczema care includes not only prescribed treatments but also lifestyle changes, such as resisting scratching and avoiding triggers.
Every time an eczema flare-up occurs, keep track of the time of day, the weather, what you’ve eaten that day, and any other possible contributing factors. Knowing your triggers can help you avoid an eczema breakout.