Eczema or dermatitis is a very common inflamed skin condition that can present as itchy red rashes that are rough and scaly. The rashes may develop blisters or become infected.
The word "atopic" means there is a tendency for excess inflammation in the skin and the linings of the nose and lungs. Eczema tends to run in families with a history of hay fever and asthma.
Atopic dermatitis is common in infants and young children, but may appear at any age.
Exacerbating factors for eczema include heat, sweat, woollen or synthetic fabrics, stress and grass intolerance. Occasionally, eczema may be due to allergies to external causes and your dermatologist will work with you to identify any such causes.
TREATMENT & CARE FOR ECZEMA
- Gentle cleansers and moisturisers - use regularly to improve skin barrier and prevent flares.
- Steroid creams or other steroid free anti-inflammatory creams can be used under medical supervision for treatment.
- Antihistamines can be useful in the symptomatic relief of itch.
- In severe cases, antibiotics, oral steroids, wet wraps, phototherapy or oral anti-inflammatory medicines may be required.
- Newer therapies such as oral JAK inhibitors or Dupixent injections are also now available for effective and safe control of severe eczema.
Eczema can often be frustrating to treat with intermittent flares. It is important to keep up with your medication. Stay in contact with your dermatologist and do not get discouraged.