If you are dealing with itchy and inflamed skin that has caused swelling, cracking, and crusting, you may currently have atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a special type of allergic hypersensitivity, and is very common, affecting a substantial portion of the world’s population. At the Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Center in Huntington, NY, we specialize in diagnosis and treatment of atopic dermatitis.
Eczema is caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. People who live in climates with low humidity tend to have an increased risk of eczema. Patients with other atopic disorders like seasonal allergies, and asthma may also develop the disease. Exposure to harsh soaps and detergents, wintry weather, and stress can all exacerbate the symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common sign of eczema is itchy skin. This strong “itch” feeling causes those suffering from it to scratch and rub which in turn worsens the disease. An increased urge to scratch the skin is often apparent at night when daily tasks are no longer present as distractions for the intense itching. Red, dry, and inflamed patches of skin are also common.
Some patients may develop scaling on the areas of the skin that are particularly irritated by the disease. Others will develop raised bumps that can become open and infected after prolonged scratching.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A physical exam along with a family history are used to diagnose eczema. Depending on your situation, you may need several appointments to rule out any allergies or other conditions that could be causing your skin irritation.
Treatment consists of lifestyle changes and skin care regimens that will help heal the skin, reduce flare ups, and manage symptoms when they do occur. Proper skin moisturizing while your skin is still wet, avoiding multiple soaps and lotions, and using warm water instead of hot during your showers will help keep your skin healthy.
To learn more about eczema treatment, call (631) 417-3300.