Eczema is a chronic skin condition triggered by external influences such as allergens, chemicals, or extreme temperatures. It’s one of the most common skin conditions, with approximately 15-20% of Americans experiencing eczema at some point.
Eczema is a common skin condition, but it can be challenging to treat and manage on your own. Douglass Forsha, MD and our staff at Jordan Valley Dermatology Center in South Jordan, Utah, are experts in treating eczema to reduce symptoms such as itching and irritation.
Eczema, commonly referred to as atopic dermatitis, is an inflammatory skin disorder that’s not contagious. It’s a chronic condition characterized by dry, itchy skin that, when scratched, may weep clear fluid. The skin becomes thicker and forms crusts and flakes. Those with eczema may be more prone to bacterial, viral, and fungal skin infections.
An eczema rash can appear at any age. Some types of eczema occur in babies and toddlers, and others only appear in adults. The causes of eczema can be very different. Treatment depends on what kind of eczema you have, how severe the symptoms are, and how long you’ve had the rash.
Symptoms vary depending on the type of eczema, the cause, and the stage of the condition. In the beginning, the skin is typically red and swollen. The affected areas are very itchy, and bumps or fluid-filled blisters may form. The blisters often burst and weep, later drying out and forming crusts that eventually heal.
Avoiding eczema triggers
There are several effective options available when treating eczema. In many cases, eczema can be treated externally with an ointment, cream, or lotion. Sometimes, home remedies can also help relieve the symptoms of the rash and prevent flare-ups.
Avoid triggering substances
If an allergy or irritant is causing eczema, it’s essential to avoid contact with those triggers. This is often enough for the rash to heal and stop appearing in the future. The main substances that can trigger eczema are:
- Cobalt Chloride
- Chromium salts
- Cosmetics with substances such as parabens, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil
- Epoxy resin
When treating eczema, it's important to avoid triggering allergens. Dr. Forsha may recommend skin-nourishing creams and skin care products. If itching is severe, the doctor may prescribe antihistamines or antibiotic ointments. Phototherapy can also be helpful.
Proper skin care
Cortisone may be helpful in the treatment of eczema, and it’s often found in prescription and over-the-counter skin care ointments, creams, or lotions.
Cortisone inhibits inflammation in eczema, suppresses allergic reactions, and relieves itching. You can regularly use gentle, high-quality skin care products that are beneficial for your skin, such as moisturizers that strengthen the barrier.
Even after eczema has healed, continue using high-quality skin care products to care for the skin.
- Keep showers or baths short.
- Avoid hot water which can stimulate nerve endings and trigger itch.
- Use mild creamy cleansers.
- Avoid heavily fragrant products.
Address emotional stressors
Your mental health can be affected by eczema and vice versa. Research shows that stress can worsen eczema because it triggers your body's immune system. Controlling your stress can help you control eczema. Find ways to relax, such as:
- Spending time outdoors
- Pursuing a hobby
Getting enough sleep can also help you reduce your stress levels. Try to relax for a few hours in the evening and go to bed at the same time every night.
If you’re experiencing discomfort and chronic eczema symptoms, call Jordan Valley Dermatology Center or send us a secure message today.