Eczema is a common skin condition, affecting more than 30 million people in the United States. For some people with eczema, it is nothing more than small spots of dry skin that can itch from time to time. For others, however, eczema brings on distressing skin problems, which can flare up, subside, and flare up again.
If you’re having skin issues and wondering if you have eczema, keep reading to learn about its signs and symptoms as well as the treatment options available for it.
Eczema Signs and Symptoms
The following are some of the common symptoms of eczema. If you notice or experience any or some of them, consult an allergist for proper evaluation:
- Dry, itchy, red skin – This is the most common symptom of eczema and can be intense. The itch tends to get worse at night or when you sweat.
- Fluid-filled blisters (“weeping skin”) – Eczema can sometimes cause blisters, which can leak and ooze, thus the term “weeping.”
- Crusts – When the blisters dry up, you may notice crust forming on top of the rash.
- Rough or leathery patches of skin – The itch-scratch cycle associated with eczema can lead to the formation of rough, leathery, or scaly patches of skin. These patches are usually darker than your surrounding skin.
- Discoloration (hyperpigmentation) – Some types of eczema can result in discoloration of your skin.
How Is Eczema Treated?
There is no cure for eczema, but there are many ways you can manage your symptoms and keep them from affecting your quality of life.
Once your allergy doctor confirms that you have eczema, they will devise a treatment plan for you to achieve four main goals: control the itch; heal your skin; avoid infections; and prevent flare-ups.
Your treatment plan will likely include self-care strategies, such as the following:
- Keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized
- Trigger avoidance
- Managing stress levels
- Using a humidifier to moisten the air in your home
- Having a warm bath
Your doctor will likely prescribe antihistamines and corticosteroids to both stop the itch-scratch cycle and prevent flare-ups. Your allergy doctor may also recommend immunotherapy to gradually train your body to build tolerance to an allergen until it no longer initiates an immune response in the event of exposure. Over time, as your body gets desensitized to the allergen and your symptoms ease off, you will no longer heavily rely on your medications.
Eczema Treatment in Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, and Plainfield, IL
Here at Oak Brook Allergists, our highly experienced, board-certified allergy doctors provide top-notch care for adult and pediatric patients with eczema. You can count on us to recommend the best treatment for you to help you avoid flare-ups and live well with the condition.
To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, call our allergy clinic today at (630) 574-0460 or use our convenient online request form.