Eczema’s itchy, red, non-contagious rash can occur anywhere on the body but is predominantly found on the face, arms, and legs. In infants, it frequently encompasses large areas of the body. As patients get older, eczema more often appears in smaller patches such as behind the knees, on the neck, and inside the elbows. Skin can appear cracked and scaly, as well as raw and swollen due to scratching. Symptoms may come and go, with some patients outgrowing eczema entirely or experiencing only occasional flare-ups into adulthood.
While researchers have not pinpointed precisely what causes a person to develop eczema, they do believe that genetics combined with triggers cause the immune system to overreact and produce the inflammation that results in eczema’s chronic itchy rash. These triggers vary by patient but can include:
- Environmental allergens (pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold)
- Dry skin
- Chemical and natural products (soaps, fragrances, household cleaners)
- Dry climate
- Food Allergies
Diagnosis & Treatment Options
Our allergy specialists can identify eczema based on a skin examination and review of your medical history. While no cure exists, simple lifestyle adjustments can have a tremendous impact on symptoms, and we will help you navigate these options. Both prescription and non-prescription creams can prove helpful, as can as other medications depending on severity of symptoms. Do not let eczema treatment options overwhelm you! We can tailor a treatment plan to your individual situation.
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Facts
Over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema.
The word “eczema” derives from a Greek word meaning “to boil over.”
Many patients or family members who have eczema also have asthma or allergic rhinitis.