Eczema Treatment in Miami
What is eczema?
Eczema is a troublesome but common skin condition that causes your skin to swell, itch, redden, crack, and feel rougher than the rest of your skin. The medical name for eczema is atopic dermatitis, but it is most commonly referred to as eczema. In severe cases of eczema, blisters might form in the affected areas of the skin. Those who suffer from eczema know all-too-well that certain foods, as well as environmental triggers, can cause eczema flare-ups. While damaged eczema skin can be treated, a person may experience flare-ups that come and go throughout their lives.
What is the main cause of eczema?
The main cause for eczema in adults and children remains unknown to this day. Unfortunately, that means that there is no way to completely get rid of the condition. Instead, doctors focus on resolving the symptoms of eczema and providing preventative options for people who deal with this skin condition. Some of the irritants and environmental causes for an eczema breakout could include:
- Certain fungi and viruses
- Extremely hot temperatures
- Extremely cold temperatures
- Low humidity in the air
- Allergens, like dust mites and mold
- Certain chemicals, sometimes found in soaps, detergents, or perfumes
What foods to avoid if you have eczema?
If you have eczema, it’s important to avoid the foods that trigger your flare-ups. Usually, you and your doctor will be able to determine which foods cause your flare-ups by keeping a food diary over time or making note of what you eat when you experience a flare-up. There are also certain foods and drinks that are already known to cause eczema flare-ups. So, you can help prevent a future outbreak simply by avoiding these food/drink items:
- Dairy products
- Soy products
- Soy milk
What does eczema look like?
An eczema breakout appears differently from one person to the next, depending on the severity of your condition. Another factor that can influence the way eczema appears on your skin is your skin pigmentation and type. So, the best way to examine your skin for an eczema outbreak is to visit with a trusted, experienced dermatologist for a full skin evaluation. Your dermatologist will be able to determine whether you’re suffering from eczema or a different kind of skin condition.
What are the first signs of eczema?
If you think you may have an eczema rash, you might notice these symptoms:
- Red skin
- Flaking skin
- Crusty skin
- Skin that is whiter in some areas
- Cracking skin
- Rough patches of skin
- Large rashes
- Patches of discolored skin
Does eczema spread by scratching?
Eczema is most commonly found in these areas of the body:
When it comes to spreading eczema, the condition doesn’t spread from one person to another. However, if you are suffering from eczema outbreaks and do not seek proper care and treatment for it, you may run the risk of spreading it to other areas of your body.
For instance, if you experience an eczema breakout on your neck and continue to scratch it, do not use dermatologist-recommended treatments to manage the condition, and continue to expose the skin to allergens, the flare-up could spread to your face, chest, or other areas of your body.
Can you get rid of eczema?
To calm an eczema flare-up, you can try some of the following general approaches that may get your symptoms under control until you are able to see a dermatologist:
- Keep a diary to determine what environmental or dietary factors are causing your flare-ups; then avoid those triggers in the future as much as possible
- Use a dermatologist-recommended moisturizer, especially after showering
- Avoid irritating the skin further, especially with rubbing or scratching
- Avoid irritating fabrics that could rub the skin
- Use lukewarm shower water and take short showers
Why did I suddenly get eczema?
Eczema often shows up in childhood–but it could also appear later in life. For some, this irritating skin rash seems to suddenly and inexplicably appear out of nowhere after the age of 18. This kind of eczema is known as adult-onset eczema or adult-onset atopic dermatitis.
There are some key differences between adult-onset eczema and child eczema, which include:
- Adult eczema may appear darker than child eczema
- Adult eczema often shows up on the face, eyes, neck, or elbows
- Adult eczema is often more leathery and tough than child eczema
- Adult eczema may be more scaly, dry, and itchy than child eczema
How do I stop eczema itching at night?
You may notice that your eczema seems to be itchier or more bothersome while you are trying to sleep at night. Some even accidentally scratch eczema while they are sleeping, only to find that their rash has worsened the next morning. To avoid scratching eczema flare-ups at night, try these simple tips:
- Take a short, lukewarm shower at night before bedtime
- Moisturize well with a dermatologist-recommended lotion just before you go to sleep at night
- Use wet wrap therapy while sleeping to keep the skin well-hydrated all night
- Try taking a sleep aid, such as melatonin, to help you fall asleep and feel less bothered by the breakout
- Wear gloves while you sleep to prevent scratching with your nails
How long does it take for eczema to go away?
Eczema flare-ups are different for each person, but in general, a flare-up might last for a few weeks and then appear to heal. In some cases, it will take much longer for the flare-up to calm down–especially without the help of a trusted dermatologist who can provide personalized treatment options. Eczema may go dormant–which means that all symptoms are improved and the skin seems completely normal. Periods of dormancy can last for weeks, months, or even years; however, most people with eczema experience flare-ups a couple of times a year at least.
To extend the time between flare-ups, visit with an experienced dermatologist and be sure to follow his/her advice between visits.
What happens if eczema is left untreated?
Leaving eczema untreated will likely result in worsening symptoms and more frequent flare-ups. A dermatologist can uncover which triggers seem to be causing your flare-ups and recommend treatments that will work well for your skin type. The best way to improve your symptoms and prevent future outbreaks is by visiting with your dermatologist regularly–even if you are not currently experiencing a flare-up.