Family Corner: What Is Eczema?

eczema and allergy treatmentsOne type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, is a chronic condition that results in red, dry, itchy skin on various parts of the body. It is most common in children, but can affect people of all ages. While the cause of eczema is unclear, the condition is considered a type of allergic response due to a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Research has shown that if a parent has eczema, asthma or seasonal allergies, the child is more likely to have eczema. Eczema is not contagious and cannot be acquired from another person.

Symptoms of Eczema

The skin of a person with eczema may not produce enough fats and oils to form a protective barrier, which leads to moisture loss between the skin cells. This makes skin dry and more prone to irritation, cracking and inflammation. Eczema often flares up in cycles, triggered by substances or conditions that irritate the skin.

Eczema can range in severity from mild to extremely irritated. Symptoms of eczema include:

  • Itching, especially at night
  • Red to brownish-gray rash
  • Small bumps which ooze and crust over when scratched
  • Dry, thick and/or crusty skin
  • Sensitive, inflamed skin
  • Skin infection caused by scratching or rubbing

Scratching or rubbing eczema only worsens the itch and causes further inflammation. Patients should resist the urge to scratch eczema.

How Eczema Is Treated

In many cases, the symptoms of mild to moderate eczema can be treated through at-home remedies. One of the most important steps to keep eczema at bay is making sure the skin is well-moisturized with frequent application of an emollient. Emollients for eczema come in the form of lotions, creams, ointments and gels. Topical steroids may be required to get an eczema flare under control.

Get Relief at RediClinic

If you or a loved one needs help treating eczema, head to RediClinic, the best walk-in clinic for affordable, high-quality care from a board-certified clinician. RediClinic treats a variety of skin and nail conditions, so you can get started on your treatment and get healthy today!

Make an online appointment to be seen at RediClinic, seven days a week!