Atopic dermatitis, often called eczema, affects a substantial portion of the US population. The disease affects approximately 30 million Americans, including 10-20% of children. It typically begins in the first year of life and manifests as itch, redness, irritation, and chronic dry skin. Commonly affected areas are the face, scalp, and the folds of the elbows and knees. Atopic dermatitis is caused by an over-reactivity of the immune cells, which is probably influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Asthma and hay fever (seasonal allergies), commonly occur together with eczema. Many, though not all, children outgrow symptoms of eczema by the time they reach adolescence, though the propensity for dry skin usually remains. Here at The Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery we also treat different types of Eczema such as seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and others. Contact Us today for more information on Eczema.
How can Eczema be treated?
For any individual with eczema, the key to successful treatment is managing triggers and treating inflammation. Common triggers would be dry skin, stress, heat, sweating, environmental allergens, topical irritants, and secondary infections. A diligent regimen of moisturization is always necessary to support the skin’s natural barrier function. Topical corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors aid in the treatment of rash. UVB light therapy may be useful to achieve control over larger areas of affected skin. For severe flares or chronic eczema, oral corticosteroids or immune-modulating medications may be required.
The National Eczema Association website contains a wealth of information for those suffering from eczema, or for the parents of children who are suffering from the disease.