Treating Eczema

Large red, inflamed, flaky rash on the knees knees and elbowLiving with eczema isn’t easy – it’s painful, itchy, and embarrassing. If you have an itchy rash, your doctor will be able to tell you if it’s eczema or something else. Here is some more information on this annoying condition and some tips on how to deal with it.

What is eczema?

It is not known what exactly causes eczema – it may be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and people who have it may also have problems with hay fever or asthma. It can start in childhood, but adults can have it too. It may flare up once in a while, or you may go for several years without it, only to have it appear again. It is not contagious. Your rash may be eczema if you have

• Cracked and scaly skin

• Patches that are red or brownish gray. These can be just about anywhere, on the hands, upper chest, the inside of the elbows or knees, and even on the eyelids.

• Small bumps that leak fluid and crust over

• Irritated, red, and swollen skin from constant scratching

Is there a cure for eczema?

Unfortunately, there is no easy cure for eczema, but there are some things you can try at home, such as moisturizing your skin thoroughly at least twice a day, taking short showers with warm (not hot) water (and gently drying yourself afterward), and avoiding harsh soaps or fabric that irritate your skin. You can also determine (and avoid) things you might be allergic to that can trigger an eczema outbreak, such as pollen, certain soaps or detergent, dust, and some kinds of food. Even things such as sweat or stress can cause an eczema flare up. Your doctor may be able to recommend other ways to find relief or some medicated ointments or creams that may help. Hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, and antihistamines may also help.

If you have a rash that just won’t go away on its own, it may be time to schedule an appointment at Stockton Dermatology to determine what it is, why you have it, and how to treat it. Call the office in Phoenix, AZ, at (480) 610-6366 today!

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