Eczema, which is caused by atopic dermatitis, is not contagious and may be caused by any one of a number of factors, including allergic reaction, irritating substances, another medical issue and even your genetic makeup. Eczema may be acute (short-term) or chronic (lifelong).
Eczema causes dry, red, irritated skin that itches. The site may also feature tiny blisters that weep, ooze, and produce crusted, thick plaques of skin.
What Causes It?
Although eczema is a type of dermatitis, it is not caused by an allergic reaction. Researchers believe that eczema is caused by a combination of factors including genetics. It is linked to an overactive response of the body’s immune system, and has been connected to families with a history of asthma, hay fever or other allergies.
Treatment by a Riverchase dermatologist will depend on a number of factors, and diagnosing the underlying cause of the rash is an important part of your treatment plan.
Sometimes a flare-up of eczema can be prevented by avoiding contact with irritants or allergy triggers, and by minimizing stressful situations. However, when eczema does show up to trouble you, Riverchase dermatologists can help provide relief with a specialized treatment that considers your skin type, previous history, location on the body, severity, and appearance of the eczema outbreak, the underlying cause of the rash and how you live.
Your doctor may recommend the following to treat eczema:
- Topical Corticosteroids. Medications are applied to the skin to relieve itching and heal affected areas. Popular corticosteroids include cortisone, hydrocortisone, and prednisone.
- Topical Immunomodulators. Non-steroid skin creams or gels that reduce inflammation and prevent flares when used as an eczema management therapy.
- Antibiotics. Oral antibiotics are used if a skin infection is present. Common antibiotics include erythromycin, tetracycline, and dicloxacillin.
- Antihistamines. These types of oral medications can help to reduce itchiness.
- Phototherapy. Chronic cases of eczema may be helped by light therapy.
In addition to doctor-prescribed treatments, there are actions you can take at home to help prevent an eczema outbreak. Reduce bathing, use gentle soaps and moisturize daily. Avoid wool and other scratchy materials as well as synthetic fabrics that trap heat next to the body. Choose a breathable fabric like cotton instead.