Causes, Management and Prevention of Eczema


The skin is the largest organ in your body and plays a huge role in your general appearance. Skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis or eczema may result in red, scaly skin along with itching, which may be unsightly and cause discomfort. This condition mostly affects children but may also occur during adulthood. There is no established cure for eczema. However, Ms. Rachael Stillwagon in Gilbert may offer effective treatment to help manage the signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes constant itching, redness, and scaling on your skin. Atopic dermatitis is a common type of eczema. Other types include:

  • Dyshidrotic Dermatitis. Women commonly develop this type of eczema on the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet. You may experience red, itchy, and painful patches of skin.
  • Nummular Dermatitis. This condition is more common in men and occurs during winter. You may experience round dry patches.
  • Contact Dermatitis. This occurs when the skin gets in direct contact with irritants. You may experience inflammation that goes away when you clear the substance off your skin.

Causes of Eczema

There is no particular cause for eczema. However, flare-ups may occur as a result of triggers such as:

  • Stress
  • Food allergies
  • Synthetic fabrics
  • Change in temperature
  • Respiratory infections

Exposure to these irritants causes the skin to respond by reacting aggressively. A hyperactive immune system may also abnormally respond to proteins that are part of the body instead of proteins from bacteria and viruses. If you have eczema, your immune system may lack the ability to differentiate between the two.

Symptoms for Atopic Dermatitis

The symptoms of eczema may occur differently for various people. This skin condition is mainly characterized by:

  • Itching, which may intensify at night
  • Brown or red patches on the feet, hands, neck, eyelids, face, ankles, elbows, and knee bend
  • Dry, scaly, and thickened skin
  • Tiny bumps containing fluid
  • Sensitive skin caused by scratching

Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis

Eczema can re-occur over time. You may need to use or combine different treatments for several months to control the signs and symptoms. Along moisturizing your skin regularly, your doctor may recommend different medications that include:

  • Corticosteroid ointment or cream. This may help relieve itching and scaling. It is necessary to use this cream for the prescribed time frame to avoid side effects such as discoloration and skin thinning.
  • Antihistamine, such as cetirizine, may help control allergic reactions by inhibiting the production of histamine.
  • Antibiotics. If you have a skin infection or an open sore, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics and antibiotic cream.
  • Oral Corticosteroids. If you have severe inflammation, your specialist may prescribe drugs such as prednisone. However, potential side effects such as bone loss may occur with prolonged use.

Prevention tips for eczema

While medications may be effective, it is important to observe several prevention tips to prevent flare-ups. For example:

  • Regularly moisturize your skin at least twice a day.
  • Identify and avoid irritants that may trigger this condition.
  • Use mild soaps. Avoid deodorant soaps since they dry your skin
  • Limit the amount of time you take while taking a shower. Use warm water.

Living with eczema can affect your quality of sleep and be stressful for teenagers and adults. Schedule an appointment with your specialist at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD to minimize itching and scaling of your skin.