What is eczema?
Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema is a chronic skin condition that occurs when the skin becomes inflamed and irritated. Eczema is genetic in origin, but can be significantly affected by various triggers such as stress and infections. It is often associated with dry skin, allergies, and asthma. Although the specific cause of eczema isn’t known, researchers believe abnormalities trigger it in the way the body’s immune system performs. Eczema symptoms are easy to recognize and include itching, redness and flaking skin. Eczema sometimes goes through a cycle where symptoms “flare-up” and become worse. Scratching these areas can result in cracking and bleeding, significantly increasing the risk of severe skin infections. Over time, the skin can become leathery to the touch.
How is eczema diagnosed?
In most cases, a visual exam and a review of the patient’s symptoms and medical history are all that is needed to diagnose eczema. In some instances, a tiny sample of skin cells may be removed for further analysis to rule out the presence of other conditions.
How is eczema treated?
Very mild cases of eczema may be treated with over-the-counter products to reduce itching and irritation. Sometimes symptoms are intense and topical therapies are ineffective. In such cases Dr. Shore has prescribed medication and or injections which act rapidly to clear the problem. Although eczema is a benign skin condition, it can lead to infection if the area is scratched, sores develop, or bleeding occurs. Any time an unusual change or symptoms occurs in the skin, it’s critically important to have a doctor’s evaluation to confirm a diagnosis so the most appropriate care can be provided.