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Eczema – Inflamed, Itchy Skin – Treatment for Eczema – Austin, TX

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What is Eczema?

Eczema represents a group of skin conditions that are caused by various allergic reactions or at times, from the body's response to an immune system deficiency. The result can lead to inflammation of the skin, redness, and itchy patches similar to dermatitis. In many cases, the inflammation itself is dermatitis. This can occur anywhere on the body, including the hands, face, neck, or other area. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type and is usually the result of an allergic reaction. This condition generally starts in childhood. At Snyder Dermatology in Austin, TX it is important that we diagnose exactly what is causing the irritation so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and treatment recommended.

What Causes Eczema?

Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes eczema but it’s believed to be triggered by several factors. Immune system abnormalities, genetics, environment, skin irritants and skin barrier defects are the most common causes. Family genetics play a role where certain genes can cause patients to have extremely sensitive skin. A patient with relatives who suffer from asthma or hay fever is at a higher risk of developing eczema. Contact with certain fabrics and soaps, cold, dry climates, heat and sweat and even stress can trigger eczema symptoms. Defects in the skin barrier can allow germs in and moisture out which can also lead to flare-ups.

Symptoms of Eczema

Eczema is most commonly characterized by dry, itchy or red skin, as well as persistent rashes. Usually, a patient’s skin will begin to itch before a rash appears. Most patients will experience patches of skin that are chronically itchy, dry or thickened. These patches can appear anywhere, but mostly occur on the face, neck, hands or legs. With children, patches can appear on the inner creases of the knees and elbows. Once the skin is scratched, dry patches, as well as open sores with crust, could develop which could become infected. Severe symptoms could include pus-filled blisters or a yellowish to light-brown crust developing over existing eczema patches, which could be a sign of a bacterial infection.

How to Treat Eczema

Eczema can be treated with a range of over-the-counter or prescribed medication and ointments. Hydrocortisone creams and ointments can be bought, as well as antihistamines, such as Benadryl, to help relieve symptoms. Prescription medications such as steroid creams or immunomodulators may help those with severe eczema. An oral steroid, or corticosteroid, may also be prescribed. In extreme cases, ultraviolet light therapy or laser treatment may also be applied to the affected areas. When other treatments have failed, immunosuppressants may be prescribed since these drugs suppress the immune system.

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Whether you have suffered from eczema for years with little to no relief or have just noticed an itchy rash and a difference in your skin, there are numerous treatment options available. Employing a multi-level treatment approach of care, which includes prevention, detection and treatment, allows our patients to not only manage their eczema, but also notice a significant decrease in symptoms.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.