An eczema flare-up can be very itchy and uncomfortable. The skin may become red, inflamed, and cracked. For some people, it may be a mild annoyance that causes occasional itchiness and redness. For others, it can be a debilitating condition that leads to constant pain, inflammation, infection, and disturbed sleep. No matter how mild or severe someone’s eczema is, living with the condition does pose challenges.
Let’s talk about what causes this skin condition that affects about 15 million Americans.
Eczema: Why It Develops
One of the most common underlying causes of eczema or atopic dermatitis is allergies. People who have allergies such as asthma and hay fever are more likely to develop eczema than people who do not have allergies. The symptoms – dry, red, raised, itchy, and weeping skin – are caused by an overactive immune system. Exposure to triggers or allergens can cause the body to respond with inflammation. Common triggers of eczema include chemicals, certain fabrics, dry air, and stress. During a flare-up, the skin barrier is damaged and makes you susceptible to complications.
There is no cure for eczema, but it can be treated and effectively managed with moisturizers, anti-itch creams, and steroid creams or ointments. People with eczema can live normal lives, not limited by their condition, provided they learn what their triggers are and how to prevent and respond to flare-ups.
How To Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups
The best way to manage eczema is to see an allergy doctor. For one thing, allergy testing may need to be performed to determine which substances you are allergic to. An allergy doctor can also design an individualized treatment plan to effectively tackle eczema.
Here are some tips to help prevent eczema flare-ups:
- Use a mild soap or cleanser when bathing and avoid scrubbing the skin. Avoid spending more than 15 minutes in a hot bath, as this can strip your skin of its natural oils.
- Apply a moisturizer immediately after bathing – while the skin is still damp – to help lock in moisture. Lotions containing colloidal oatmeal are especially helpful in keeping eczema-prone skin moisturized.
- Avoid irritants such as harsh detergents, perfumes, and scratchy synthetic fabrics like nylon.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air and help prevent the skin from drying out.
Talk to your allergy doctor about prescription medication that can help relieve eczema symptoms, such as topical corticosteroids or antihistamines.
Eczema Treatment in Will County & DuPage County, IL
The allergy doctors at Oak Brook Allergists are highly experienced in treating patients suffering from eczema. We make sure our patients have the tools needed to keep their skin barrier protected and successfully prevent eczema flare-ups and ease symptoms during an attack. We also offer immunotherapy, which provides long-lasting relief from certain allergies.
Schedule an appointment with one of our allergy doctors, and we will let you know what treatment options are available to you. Call our allergy clinic today at (630) 574-0460 or use our convenient appointment request form. Oak Brook Allergists has locations in Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, and Plainfield.