Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition that also goes by the names atopic eczema, dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis. The condition, which is especially common in children, causes red patches to appear on the skin that are scaly, itchy, and dry.

Who Gets Eczema, and How Long Does It Last?

This skin condition frequently appears in children during their first year of life and disappears by the time they are two years old. The itching caused by eczema can be so intense that some babies and toddlers may not be able to sleep. Since they do not fully understand how to scratch itchy skin to make it feel better, very young children may rub their skin against the nearest surface in an attempt to find relief. Eczema is not contagious.

Skin rashes can make children feel uncomfortable and may require treatment to avoid infection. Parents can also take steps at home to reduce the likelihood of an eczema outbreak in their child. For example, babies and toddlers with eczema are often sensitive to the dyes used in soap and laundry detergent. Parents should choose cleaners without these added ingredients. They also need to moisturize their child’s skin regularly.

Some people who develop eczema during childhood continue to deal with the uncomfortable symptoms until adulthood. They may go several years between flare-ups. Although it is less common, some people never develop eczema during childhood and do not notice their first symptoms until they are adults.

What Causes Eczema?

One of the essential roles of healthy skin is to retain moisture that protects the body from allergens, bacteria, and irritants. People with eczema have a variation in one of their genes that prevents the skin from performing this function effectively. Children who already have food allergies are more prone to developing eczema. Other risk factors include having a family history of eczema, allergies, asthma, or hay fever.

Common Symptoms of Eczema

Keep in mind that the symptoms of eczema can vary significantly between children and adults and from one person to the next. Here are some typical indications that you or your child might have eczema:

  • Cracked, dry, thickened, or scaly skin
  • Patches of skin are brownish-gray or red in color and appear on the upper chest, hands, wrists, neck, feet, ankles, eyelids, and inside the bend of the knees and elbows. Children may also have eczema patches on their cheeks or scalp.
  • Raised bumps that can crust over when scratched and leak clear fluid. 
  • Severe itching, especially at night.
  • Skin that appears swollen or raw due to intense scratching.

Some people who develop eczema during childhood continue to deal with the uncomfortable symptoms until adulthood. They may go several years between flare-ups. Although it is less common, some people never develop eczema during childhood and do not notice their first symptoms until they are adults.

What Causes Eczema?

One of the essential roles of healthy skin is to retain moisture that protects the body from allergens, bacteria, and irritants. People with eczema have a variation in one of their genes that prevents the skin from performing this function effectively. Children who already have food allergies are more prone to developing eczema. Other risk factors include having a family history of eczema, allergies, asthma, or hay fever.

Common Symptoms of Eczema

Keep in mind that the symptoms of eczema can vary significantly between children and adults and from one person to the next. Here are some typical indications that you or your child might have eczema:

  • Cracked, dry, thickened, or scaly skin
  • Patches of skin are brownish-gray or red in color and appear on the upper chest, hands, wrists, neck, feet, ankles, eyelids, and inside the bend of the knees and elbows. Children may also have eczema patches on their cheeks or scalp.
  • Raised bumps that can crust over when scratched and leak clear fluid. 
  • Severe itching, especially at night.
  • Skin that appears swollen or raw due to intense scratching.

You or your child may have developed a skin infection if you notice oozing pus, yellow scabs, or red streaks on the skin. Please seek treatment from Anne Arundel Dermatology right away in this situation to prevent the infection from spreading or getting worse. We recommend a combination of home remedies and professional dermatology treatment for eczema to ensure healthy skin for a lifetime. Left untreated, eczema can cause significant problems with sleep and quality of life.

Please contact our dermatology practice today to learn more about non-invasive eczema treatment options.

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    Get Eczema Wise

    Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It is a skin condition that creates inflammation and irritation, often causing red and itchy skin. It’s quite common in children but can occur to anyone at any age. Some forms can become long-lasting or chronic, creating uncomfortable and even painful skin from time to time. There is no cure for this condition, but eczema treatments and self-care may help to provide some relief to many people.

    Get Eczema Wise

    Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It is a skin condition that creates inflammation and irritation, often causing red and itchy skin. It’s quite common in children but can occur to anyone at any age. Some forms can become long-lasting or chronic, creating uncomfortable and even painful skin from time to time. There is no cure for this condition, but eczema treatments and self-care may help to provide some relief to many people.

    Click through to learn more about any area of care. If you have concerns, please give us a call to make an appointment to see your dermatologist.

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