Eczema Basics

Eczema St. George UT | Riverside Medical ArtsEczema is an all too common, and irritating skin condition that can be painful and frustrating. Keep reading to learn more about how you can keep your skin healthy and relieve irritation.

What is eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that is often referred to as dermatitis. People with eczema often have flare ups of red, itchy, dry, flaky skin and they get frequent uncomfortable rashes. Rashes can occur all over the body, but they are more common near the elbows, wrists, and knees. Adults and children are vulnerable to eczema and some infants even experience rashes on their faces or necks.

Common symptoms of eczema include swelling, cracking dry skin, itching, redness, peeling, and blistering. Eczema can be hereditary or it can be a response to an allergy. Flare ups also often occur in the winter when the air is cold and dry.

Avoiding Flare Ups

If you think you may have eczema, you should consult your dermatologist. There are a few things you can do to prevent flare ups. The first step is to find out what triggers them for you. Consider getting checked for both food, and environmental allergies. Keep careful track of when rashes appear and track your diet and activities to see if you notice anything that makes your eczema worse. Most people with eczema are better off avoiding extreme temperatures and anything that causes inflammation.

People with eczema should usually avoid:

  • Itchy fabrics such as wool
  • Excessive exposure to pet dander or pollen
  • Stressful situations
  • Scented lotions, soaps, and other hygiene products

Treatment Options

Eczema can be uncomfortable, but there are treatment options available. In some cases, lifestyle and diet changes can significantly improve your condition (particularly if you have allergies). Some people use antihistamines to combat symptoms of eczema. Other treatments involve preventing inflammation throughout the body and restoring the barrier function of the skin. Treatments for eczema also often involve topical steroids and creams.

If you’d like relief from eczema, schedule an appointment at Riverside Medical Arts to find out what is contributing to your flare ups and decide on a treatment plan.