One of the most exasperating skin conditions in the modern world is eczema, also referred to as dermatitis. It’s a condition where the skin becomes red, itchy, inflamed, or prone to excessive rashes and blisters. According to medical statistics, eczema (dermatitis) has been estimated to affect 245 million people worldwide. The condition is even worse for people with dry skin, as their skin doesn’t produce enough oil or moisture to counteract this condition.
These are the most common types of eczema:
• Atopic Dermatitis – Itchy inflamed skin
• Contact Dermatitis – Skin rash caused by contact with certain substances
• Stasis Dermatitis – Inflamed skin caused by build-up of fluid in the lower legs
• Seborrheic Dermatitis – Red skin and scaly patches, commonly found on the scalp
• Nummular Dermatitis – Rashes or sores shaped like a coin
• Dermatitis Herpetiformis – Very itchy skin rash, accompanied with bumps and blisters. Usually chronic in nature.
There is no known medical explanation for what causes eczema. The contemporary medical opinion suggests a combination of genetic and environmental factors. They include the following:
• The immune system functioning atypically
• Activities or hobbies that might cause skin to be sensitive, such as swimming in chlorine water and sporty activities that require one to be out in the sun for prolonged durations
• Skin abnormalities that cause germs to gain access
• Environmental factors like pollution and climatic conditions such as cold and rain
Fortunately, there are many effective treatments available that may reduce the occurrence of, if not completely cure, eczema. The following treatments have been known to help people with this troubling skin condition:
• A good skin care regimen is key. A good diet is also necessary, because some foods are known to cause allergic reactions.
• Drink lots of water. Keep yourself and your skin hydrated, because dry skin often exacerbates this condition. Don’t shower or take baths in very hot water, because that’ll dry your skin.
• Use a mild soap. Harsh soaps dry the skin and should be avoided. Moisturize often and invest in a good cream, lotion, or ointment. Slather it on right after a shower or bath, because moisturizers are most effective when skin is still moist after a bath.
• If you have a severe form of eczema, you should try to take baths with a small amount of bleach added to the water. Bleach kills the bacteria present on the skin of people with eczema.
Medicines available to counter eczema include the following:
• Hydrocortisone – This is an over-the-counter cream or ointment widely available in drugstores for treating mild eczema. If you have a severe condition, you may need a prescription dose (prescribed by a doctor).
• Antihistamines – These can be taken orally or intravenously for any kind of allergies, including skin allergies, which are typical of eczema.
• Corticosteroids – These are a type of steroid hormones. They should never be taken without your doctor’s permission.
Setting Up Your Informative Consultation in The Woodlands
Contact our office to schedule a consultation and find out more about your eczema treatment options. Speaking with Houston dermatologist Dr. Anita Gill is the best way to start your journey to healthier skin.