Statistics compiled by the National Eczema Foundation assert that approximately 31.6 million Americans have some form of eczema. For many, the condition can be challenging to live with, but help is available through the care of Saif Fatteh, MD, of Lansing Podiatry & Dermatology in Mt. Pleasant and East Lansing, Michigan. If you’re hoping to find an effective plan for managing your eczema, book an appointment with Dr. Fatteh today, online or over the phone.
What is eczema?
Eczema is not a single disease but a term used to describe a group of skin conditions that lead to itchy, inflamed, and red skin. It’s a common complaint, but eczema is also a manageable condition that can improve under the care of a skilled dermatologist.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. Additional types include:
- Contact dermatitis
- Nummular eczema
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic eczema
The first step in finding the right treatment plan is determining which type of eczema you have.
What causes eczema?
Scientists have not yet determined the exact cause of eczema, but it appears that a combination of genetic and environmental factors are involved. It is clear, however, that eczema is not contagious, so it’s not possible to catch it from another person.
One of the most powerful steps you can take to manage your eczema is to identify your triggers and take care to avoid them whenever possible. Everyone has a unique experience with eczema, but some common triggers include:
- Harsh soaps, shampoos, detergents, or disinfectants
- Very hot or cold weather, high or low humidity
- Hormonal fluctuations in females, especially during pregnancy or menstruation
- Dust mites, pet dander, mold, dandruff, or pollen
- Certain foods like dairy, nuts, seeds, soy, wheat, or eggs
- Certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi
Learning to recognize the things that cause your eczema to flare up takes time and patience, but can help you manage your condition.
What can I do at home to manage my eczema?
There are many self-care techniques you can use to reduce eczema flare-ups. These tips can help soothe your skin and reduce flare-ups:
- Wet dressings with topical corticosteroids
- Daily moisturizing with creams, sprays, ointments, or bath oils
- Bandaging to protect open skin
- Over-the-counter anti-itch medication
- Mild soaps and household products
- Clothing that is cool and smooth to the touch
- Stress reduction techniques
Some approaches may work better for you than others, so don’t hesitate to try a range of techniques to look for a good match.
How is eczema treated?
Dr. Fatteh has many different tools and techniques to help you manage your eczema. Topical medications may help control itching and reduce inflammation. Antibacterial cream can also help if you have an infection, and it will also help prevent an infection in cracked or open skin.
Oral medications can also reduce inflammation. Some exciting new injectable biologic drugs show promise in treating severe cases of eczema. Dr. Fatteh will explain the pros and cons of each option to give you the details you need to make an informed decision about your care. Book your appointment online or by phone today to get started.