Eczema is itchy, but scratching it may only worsen the condition. If your over-the-counter products are failing to relieve your itchy skin or rash, contact Dr. Erik B. Hurst at the Center for Dermatology. A professional assessment can determine whether you have eczema or another condition, and early treatment can help prevent future eczema flare-ups. Call to make an appointment in Martinsburg, West Virginia, or Hagerstown, Maryland.
Eczema isn’t just one skin problem — it refers to eight types of inflammatory skin conditions. The most common form, atopic dermatitis, is often used synonymously with eczema.
The different types of eczema are:
Though eczema can first appear in adulthood, it usually occurs in infants and young children, with 60% of cases developing before the age of one. For some children, it persists into adulthood.
Two common symptoms — itching and redness — are found in all the different types of eczema. In many cases, eczema produces severe itchiness.
Beyond red skin, its appearance varies. You may develop dry, red skin that’s scaly or skin that’s red and swollen. In others, a bumpy red rash appears, or blisters form that ooze and then scab. Eczema can also be painful.
Eczema symptoms flare up in response to specific triggers. When an irritant or allergen affects your immune system, it produces inflammation that leads to eczema symptoms. These triggers are different for each person, but some of the most common include:
Dr. Hurst may recommend several strategies to relieve a current eczema flare-up and to prevent future problems. Your treatment may include:
Identifying eczema early can help keep symptoms under control and prevent the condition from worsening. Call Dr. Hurst to schedule an appointment to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.