Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is generally characterized as an itchy, red, scaly rash.
These symptoms often worsen at night, and the urge to itch can be intense enough to disrupt sleep. Many eczema patients scratch their skin until it breaks, leaving it prone to infection.
Babies who develop eczema before their first birthday get dry, red, scaly patches on their cheeks, forehead, and scalp. When the condition begins after the age of two, it’s more likely to cause rashes in the creases of a child’s elbows or knees, or along their neck, wrists, or ankles.
In adults, eczema is more likely to cover larger areas of the body and may be unusually severe on the neck, face, and around the eyes.
Approximately 90% of people who have eczema developed the condition before their fifth birthday. Although it’s a long-term condition, only about half of the people who develop childhood eczema continue to have symptoms as an adult.
Medical experts don’t know what causes eczema, but it appears to run in families along with other common childhood health issues. Many children who develop it are closely related to someone who has either eczema, hay fever, or asthma.
Even though about half of all children with eczema continue to have mild symptoms as an adult, many of the babies who develop eczema in early infancy no longer have any symptoms by their second birthday.
Proper treatment and a gentle skin care routine can go a long way in reducing eczema symptoms, avoiding skin infections, and preventing recurrence. Dr. Geria can develop a customized treatment plan that helps:
- Reduce inflammation
- Relieve itching and pain
- Clear any infection
- Decrease new lesions
Effective eczema control also includes avoiding anything that may bring on a flare-up. While you may not always know the specific cause of an eczema break out, some of the most common triggers include:
- Psychological stress
- Sweaty skin
- Irritating detergents and soaps
- Dry air and sunburns
Your daily skin care routine is also an essential aspect of eczema management. Use a mild, cleanser that’s fragrance-free, and keep your showers warm and relatively short, not hot and long.
It’s also important to apply topical medications and moisturizers just after bathing, when your skin is still moist.