By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
October 24, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Eczema  

Let’s dispel the myths, raise awareness and eradicate the stigma surrounding eczema. 

Did you know that October is National Eczema Awareness Month? Therefore, it’s the perfect time for the dermatological team of Dr. Jeffrey eczemaBerti and Dr. Toula Berti at Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in South Barrington, and Willowbrook, Illinois, to shed light on eczema, a common skin disorder that affects approximately 31.6 million Americans.

What is eczema?

Eczema is an autoimmune disorder that produces patches of red, scaly and itchy skin that may come and go. Eczema flare-ups can make people feel self-conscious or avoid social engagements. This problem alone is one of the main reasons people seek care from our skin doctors. It is important to know that eczema is not contagious.

What are the symptoms? 

Symptoms can vary in intensity and appearance from person to person. You could have eczema if you are dealing patches of skin that are,

  • Dry
  • Red and inflamed
  • Very itchy
  • Rough and scaly
  • Crusty or weeping

The skin around these patches may also be red and swollen. Some people experience all of these symptoms while others may experience only one or two. Flare-ups can happen regularly or maybe you’ve only had one flare-up to date; however, the only way to tell whether you actually have eczema is to see your dermatologist.

What can trigger a flare-up? 

There are many things that can trigger an eczema flare-up including,

  • Stress
  • Allergies (e.g. pollen; dust mites; dander)
  • Irritants (e.g. soaps; detergents)
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Hot, humid weather

Is eczema curable? 

There is currently no cure for eczema; however, your dermatologist can help you control your symptoms through lifestyle changes and medication.

How is eczema treated? 

The goal of treatment is to reduce both the frequency and severity of a patient’s eczema symptoms. This can be done through simple lifestyle modifications and home care, as well as medication. Home care includes,

  • Using a humidifier in cold, dry weather
  • Using fragrance-free, gentle soaps and detergents
  • Using lukewarm water instead of hot water for bathing
  • Moisturizing with a cream skin every day
  • Avoiding triggers, such as inflammatory foods
  • Wearing light, soft fabrics
  • Not scratching patches of skin

Medications used to treat eczema include,

  • Topical medications, including steroids and more advanced newer non-steroid topicals
  • Antibiotics (when eczema and a bacterial skin infection coincide)
  • Now biologic treatment exists, Dupixent

Phototherapy, a treatment that briefly exposes the skin to UVA or UVB light, may also be effective for treating moderate eczema.

Whether you are experiencing symptoms of eczema or you’re looking for a dermatologist in South Barrington, and Willowbrook, Illinois, that can help you get your flare-ups under control, call Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery today. Call (630) 321-0303 for Willowbrook and (847) 304-0303 for South Barrington.

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