Eczema / Atopic Dermatitis

WHAT IS ECZEMA?

Atopic Dermatitis, also known as ‘Eczema’ is a skin condition in which the skin tends to get itchy and red. It is usually chronic and flares up from time to time. At times it’s accompanied by hay fever or asthma. The exact cause of eczema is not known, but it is more common in childhood. These patches often appear on the scalp, forehead, face, cheeks, folds of the arms, the back of the knees, and wrists. Eczema is often known for being very itchy. Scratching can also lead to a skin infection. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Red to brownish-grey patches on most body parts and in infants it breaks out on the face and scalp
  • Dry skin which gets swollen due to scratching
  • Itching
  • Small bumps in the skin, which often leak fluid when scratched

ARE THERE OTHER TYPES OF ECZEMA?

Another form of eczema, dyshidrotic eczema (DE), causes small, deep-seated blisters, usually located on the hands and in between the fingers. It’s also possible to develop blisters on your feet. Whether on your hands, feet, or both, the blisters are often very itchy and painful. When the blisters clear (usually in 2 or 3 weeks), the skin tends to be red, dry and cracked.

WHAT CAUSES ECZEMA TO GET BETTER OR WORSE?

Even though mostly the underlying causes are related to environmental factors, it’s always better to have some preventive measures ready for the following triggers:

Dry Skin.

When your skin gets too dry, it can become scaly or rough, which can make your eczema flare up.

Irritants.

Irritants can be found in any product that you use on your body or in your homes such as hand and dish soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, bubble bath, body wash, surface cleaners, or disinfectants. Even some natural liquids, like the juice from fruits or vegetables, can irritate your skin when you touch them.

Allergens.

Materials in the environment can cause you to have an allergic reaction and trigger an eczema flare-up. Some of the most common are seasonal pollen, dust mites, pet dander from cats and dogs, mold, and dandruff.

Stress.

Emotional stress is known to be associated with eczema. Some people’s eczema symptoms get worse when they’re feeling “stressed.”

Hot and Cold Temperatures.

Many people with eczema will become itchy when they sweat or get too hot. During the colder winter months, your skin may also get too dry, which can lead to irritation and an eczema flare up.

HOW CAN YOU TREAT YOUR ECZEMA?

It’s not desirable to prescribe a lot of medication to infants, so the treatment is usually done by lubricating and moisturizing the infants’ skin, avoiding extreme temperature and avoiding any skin irritants.

For adults, even though the condition stays persistent, in most cases medications are subscribed, which include creams to moisturize, antibiotic creams for infection, oral corticosteroids for severe cases, or the contemporary method of injectable biologic called ‘Dupixent’.

Wet dressings and bandages are an intensive form of treatment, along with phototherapy, which requires exposure to sunlight. Over the years Dr. Khilji has maintained an impressive track record of treating ‘Atopic Dermatitis’ using the least amount of medication which is considered severe for the skin.