Eczema is a common skin condition in children, although adults can have it as well. Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis, which is technically the name for the most common form of eczema. The word “atopic” actually refers to an allergy, and those with eczema usually have allergies or asthma to go with itchy, red skin.
You need professional treatment to deal with eczema and atopic dermatitis, and Illinois Dermatology Institute has all the tools and experience to restore the look of your skin.
Call to book an appointment with IDI today and let our highly-trained dermatologists improve your quality of life.
Treatment for Eczema & Atopic Dermatitis in Chicago
Although there are different types of eczema, they all present with dry scaly skin, redness, and an itching sensation which can be powerful at times.
This most common type of eczema usually begins in childhood and goes away as one reaches adulthood. Atopic dermatitis is often present in people who suffer from asthma and hay fever as well.
Atopic dermatitis presents with a rash, often at the elbows or knees where the skin may turn lighter or darker or get thicker. Scratching the small bumps that appear on the rash may cause fluid to leak and can cause an infection.
Atopic dermatitis can result when your skin’s natural barrier against the elements weakens, making your skin less able to protect you from irritants and allergens.
It is thought that atopic dermatitis is caused by multiple factors including:
- dry skin
- environmental triggers
- immune system problems
One type of eczema which causes small blisters on the hands and feet is called dyshidrotic eczema, which is more common in women than men.
Dyshidrotic eczema appears as small blisters that are filled with fluid that form on the fingers, toes, palms, and soles of the feet. These blisters can itch or hurt and eventually become scaly, crack, and flake.
Dyshidrotic eczema may be caused by allergies, stress, damp hands or feet, or exposure to metals such as nickel or cobalt.
Another very common type of eczema will manifest on the hands only. This is typical in individuals who work in hairdressing, healthcare, laundry, or cleaning where frequent chemical use can irritate your skin.
Eczema on the hands will cause the hands to become red, itchy, and dry, eventually forming cracks or blisters.
Eczema can come and go, and when it appears, you may need to try different medications to get rid of the rash.
Medicines that have been found to treat eczema include:
- Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel)
- Corticosteroid cream or ointment which can include steroids such as prednisone
- Cool compresses applied before rubbing the corticosteroid cream for better absorption
How to Reduce Eczema Outbreaks
Although in some cases, you may be having to deal with eczema the rest of your life, there are ways to manage any flare-ups.
Steps you can take to control symptoms include:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing made of soft fibers such as cotton
- Avoid scratching which can lead to infections
- Gently blot your skin with a soft towel after bathing rather that rubbing your skin
- Apply a cool compress to your skin or take a colloidal oatmeal or baking soda bath to relieve the itching
- Wear gloves and protective clothing when handling chemicals
- Use fragrance-free detergents, cleansers, makeup, and other skin care products
If you suffer from eczema or atopic dermatitis, book an Appointment with Illinois Dermatology Institute and we can determine the best course of treatment to improve your quality of life.