Eczema - Patients ask, Dr. Ringpfeil answers
Please feel free to use the blog below to share information about Eczema or to ask Dr. Franziska Ringpfeil a question that might be of interest to others.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, very itchy skin condition that can affect people of all ages. Eczema is its common name. Children are most likely to develop atopic dermatitis, which is associated with a family history of asthma, seasonal allergies, and penicillin allergy. While atopic dermatitis may resolve over time, some individuals still experience flares into adulthood.
Actinic keratoses develop on sun-exposed skin. There may be a single or multiple lesions. The signs and symptoms of actinic keratosis include a rough or scaly, flat or slightly raised bump that ranges in color from red to brown. The affected area may occasionally be itching, burning, or feel tender. The condition is easily diagnosed after a professional examination. Occasionally, a skin biopsy, in which a small piece of skin is taken and analyzed under a microscope, is necessary.
When atopic dermatitis is active, topical steroids are often needed to control it. Topical steroids should not be used for prolonged periods of time or to prevent flare-ups. Two weeks should suffice to calm a flare. It is also possible to control itching with an oral antihistamine. A course of oral steroids (prednisone) may be required for very severe widespread flares.
Proper daily skincare is essential for the management of atopic dermatitis. After bathing, it is important to apply a moisturizer liberally and to use gentle soap in cooler water.
Avoiding irritating fabrics such as wool can also be helpful. In some children food allergies may play a role and evaluation by an allergist may be necessary.
SAtopic dermatitis flares can be triggered by extreme heat or cold, rapid temperature fluctuations, and sweating, so maintaining the proper temperature without excessive humidity or dryness is ideal. Clothing should be made from breathable, non-irritating material and washed in fragrance-free and dye-free detergent, and rinsed well. The use of dryer fabric softener sheets should be avoided.
Excessive bathing should be avoided. Excessive washing can strip the skin of oils. It is important to use a gentle soap, cool water, and moisturize liberally every day to prevent dry skin. Bubble baths should be avoided since the detergent can be drying to the skin.
Atopic dermatitis can also be triggered by stress. Getting adequate rest can help. The management of stressful life situations should be done with professional guidance or relaxation techniques, such as yoga.
By seeking medical attention at the onset of symptoms, you can prevent widespread flares.