Eczema / Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema is a broad term that refers to a number of dry, scaling, itching skin rashes. There are several types of eczema, including:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Contact dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Nummular eczema
- Xerotic eczema
To determine the best form of treatment, it is necessary to distinguish between the various types of eczema and make a proper diagnosis. Atopic dermatitis is the most severe form, and it can begin as soon as infancy and carry through to adulthood. Other patients may only experience flare-ups of eczema when they are exposed to an irritant, such as dust, soap, smoke, solvents, certain fabrics, specific foods, bleach, and detergents. This type of eczema, called contact dermatitis, is easily addressed by avoidance of the irritant.
Once a dermatologist has narrowed down the specific variation of eczema a patient is struggling with, only then can an effective treatment be provided. Some over-the-counter products can be obtained without prescriptions as they have a lower potency of effective active ingredients that can be used safely without monitoring by a physician. These can help relieve discomfort caused by eczema, but cannot treat it. Patients with moderate to severe eczema who cannot obtain relief with over-the-counter products may need to talk to a dermatologist about more prescription-strength solutions. The treatment of some forms of eczema can be quite complex and will require extensive preventive measures along with topical or even systemic medications. Your dermatologist will need to take a detailed history of your particular situation along with a physical examination to best determine the appropriate regimen for your individual needs.
Our goal is to keep our patients as symptom-free as possible with the safest forms of therapy. Decades of experience help us achieve the best outcomes.