There are millions of patients that suffer from eczema every year. In fact, eczema is one of the most common dermatological conditions in the United States. If you have eczema, you are likely very aware of your condition, as it is normally diagnosed very early in life. In fact, many infants develop eczema during their first weeks of life – only to outgrow the disease at an older age.
However, if you are not one of the lucky patients that have outgrown their eczema it is important to learn how to care for your skin and treat your disease at home. Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is most commonly characterized by itchy and red scaly lesions that appear on the skin and do not go away easily. Eczema is often triggered by environmental factors such as sun exposure and stress.
In young patients the scaly rash is most likely to appear on the face and the lower limbs. As you age it will begin to appear behind the knees and inside the elbows. In adult patients eczema is most likely to appear on the face and neck as well.
There are many ways to care for your skin condition at home. Water can be one of the best and worst elements for your skin when attempting to heal your eczema. It is very important to pay close attention to how you use water on your skin. A warm bath can be incredibly helpful for calming your skin and hydrating your dry patches. However, if water is allowed to sit on your skin after showering it can actually cause your skin to dry out more than it would otherwise – making your eczema worse.
After showering, thoroughly dry your skin with a towel. Do not air dry your skin. Then, trap the water into your skin with an ointment-like moisturizer, not a lotion. Hydrocortisone cream is also safe for use on your eczema and may help relieve any itching that you are experiencing. If hydrocortisone cream is not sufficient, your doctor may consider prescribing a topical steroid to aid in your treatment.
While not a first line therapy, some patients do benefit from exposure to UVB rays in treating their eczema. UVB rays can be otherwise harmful to your skin leading to the development of skin cancers, and therefore this treatment is only to be started under the advice of a physician and in limited doses.
If your eczema seems to be recurring more and more frequently and is disturbing your daily activities, consider visiting Westport Dermatology for a consultation today.