We know eczema can be a frustrating condition that affects quality of life in adults and children. With so many eczema types and treatments, it’s important to properly diagnose. We’re able to help you treat and control it.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a mild to severe itching (pruritic) skin disease that can start at any age, in both men and women, youth and adults, and in all skin types. Technically, it’s a complicated cluster of separate skin diseases that have common symptoms. They itch, tend to weep and crust, and look similar under the microscope when they’re biopsied. Eczema conditions can vary by where they’re located on the body, the age when it begins, other skin conditions a patient may also have and whether the symptoms come and go or are chronic and consistently present.
“I saw Larry Robinson for eczema and everything about it was excellent including the thoroughness of my exam, medical and follow up care. All your staff are very friendly and efficient.”
— Olympic Dermatology eczema patient, July 2017
What are the Different Types of Eczema?
Flexural dermatitis is closely associated with atopic patients, or those who suffer from allergies or asthma, and the condition began at a young age. Often diagnosed as atopic dermatitis it generally appears in childhood, with the itching and rash on elbows and behind the knees but can be widespread over the body. It’s associated with asthma and allergic rhinitis, is sometimes triggered by food allergies, and is often genetically passed from parent to child. It may improve with age but some lingering itching, often of the hands, is common.
Nummular eczema is associated with dry and sensitive skin, which many of us have. Contact dermatitis is either caused by an allergy the patient has or something that irritates the skin such as poison oak, strong fragrances and cleansers, or certain metals in jewelry. Asteatosis is the “winter itch” sometimes experienced by our mature patients. As your skin ages it becomes thinner, drier and more sensitive to irritants. The itching is often worse in the colder months as heated indoor air dries out our skin.
Stasis Dermatitis is a type of eczema associated with varicose veins and appears on the lower legs. It includes swelling, dry skin changes and, at times, chronic skin ulcers because of poor healing. Managing vein swelling is very important so compression stockings are generally used, along with moisturizers and topical steroids.
What are the Treatments for Eczema?
First and foremost, have it diagnosed by a dermatology provider. In managing eczema it’s important to first rule out other itching skin diseases. At Olympic Dermatology we treat each patient’s eczema in a way that fits their unique age, skin type, lifestyle and preference. Eczema can be treated not only when it’s active but we can also help prevent it. No one treatment plan is always effective, so we use a wide array of the safest, most current treatment options available.
Eczema may be minimized or avoided altogether with dry skin precautions and care including using gentle cleansers, fragrance free moisturizers, lukewarm water and avoiding harsh soaps and other things that irritate the skin. Olympic Dermatology also offers skin care products, such as Epionce, that help in the care and treatment of eczema.
The most common treatment for eczema is topical steroid medication (lotions or gels in varying strengths). Severe eczema that doesn’t respond to this may be treated systemically with medications in pill form designed to decrease the body’s inflammatory response.
I saw Jennifer Cozart for eczema and my experience was easy, comfortable and informative.