What is Eczema?
Eczema consists of a series of skin conditions caused either by different allergic reactions or the body's response to an immune system deficiency. The result: redness of the skin and itchy spots very similar to dermatitis. Oftentimes, the inflammation itself is a sign of dermatitis. Eczema can appear anywhere on the body, including the hands, face, neck, and more. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema and is most typically the result of an allergic reaction. Most patients with eczema start seeing signs in childhood. At Skin Center Boston in Boston, MA, Dr. Vladyslava Doktor can help diagnose and develop a treatment plan for eczema in Boston, Brookline, and Needham men, women, and children.
What Causes Eczema?
While it's not completely known what causes eczema, it is believed to be triggered by several different things, including genetics, the environment, issues with the immune system, different skin irritants, and skin barrier defects (like atopic dermatitis). Some common irritants include metals, cigarette smoke, soaps, certain fabrics, and fragrances. Genetics plays a significant role in whether or not a person has eczema because particular genes can cause sensitive skin. A patient with relatives who suffer from asthma or allergies tends to have an increased chance of developing eczema. Eczema flare-ups can also be the cause of anxiety and/or stress.
Whether you or your children have suffered from eczema for a while or have just recently discovered an itchy rash and a change to the skin, there are a lot of treatment alternatives available at Skin Center Boston. Dermatologist Dr. Vladyslava Doktor can help you detect, prevent, and treat your eczema. If you're in the Boston, Cambridge, Dover, or surrounding areas, call to discuss your options for eczema relief today.
What are the Symptoms of Eczema?
Eczema typically shows up as red, itchy, dry skin, along with persistent rashes. Normally, the skin will start to itch before the rash shows up. Many people with eczema have patches of skin that are consistently itchy, dry, or cracked. These spots are usually on the face, neck, legs, or hands but can appear anywhere on the body. Eczema in children is most often found in the inner creases of the elbows and knees. When the skin is scratched, open sores can develop, which can become infected. Severe symptoms are pus-filled blisters or a yellow to brown crust developing over eczema spots, which could be an indication of a bacterial infection.
How is Eczema Treated?
While eczema is often irritating for our patients, it can usually be easily addressed with prescribed or over-the-counter medications and lotions. Hydrocortisone creams and ointments can be used with antihistamines, like Benadryl, to help relieve symptoms. Prescription drugs, including steroid creams or immunomodulatory, may help people who have moderate to severe eczema. An oral steroid might also be prescribed to clear up skin. In extreme cases, ultraviolet light therapy or laser treatment might be suggested. In the event other alternatives have failed, immunosuppressants could help suppress the immune system and absolve symptoms.
"Dr. Doktor and her staff treated me so well. I was having a rough morning and have been dealing with this skin issue for weeks. They could sense it and spent lots of time with me and reassured me that I would get better. The doctor was able to quickly diagnose and prescribe the necessary meds. Looking forward to my follow-up appointment in a couple weeks!"- K.A. / ZocDoc / Oct 20, 2020