Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes itchy, inflamed patches of skin. Though there’s no cure for eczema, Michael Osofsky, MD, Brian Pucevich, MD, Saba Ali, MD, and the team at Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania take a multifaceted approach to reducing eczema flare-ups. For a comprehensive approach to your eczema, call the office in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, or request an appointment online today.
Eczema, also called dermatitis, includes chronic skin conditions that cause dry, itchy, and inflamed skin rashes. Though eczema includes many conditions, it most often refers to atopic dermatitis.
Most people develop atopic dermatitis before age 5 and continue to experience on-and-off rashes throughout life. If you have asthma or hay fever, you’re at greater risk of developing eczema.
Though eczema may affect any area of your body, the rashes most often appear on the hands and feet, bend of the elbow, and back of the knees.
Eczema starts as an itch you can’t help scratch, causing the skin to turn red. When you continue to scratch the itch, a rash develops. This rash may appear:
The itching is severe, and scratching makes the rash and the itch worse.
The skin rash may occur from any number of causes. Eczema damages your skin’s barrier function, making it more sensitive to outside invaders. When your skin comes in contact with an irritant, your immune system overreacts, causing the inflammation.
Irritating clothes, handwashing, chemicals, climate changes, emotions, skin infections, and allergies may exacerbate your symptoms.
Eczema isn’t life-threatening or contagious, but the symptoms can affect your quality of life. If you have an itchy skin rash that comes and goes, schedule a consultation at Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania.
You can expect a thorough and patient-centered exam when visiting Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania for an eczema consultation. The team asks detailed questions about your symptoms, medical history, and family history and then examines your skin.
Though they can diagnose eczema after a history and physical, your dermatologist may take a sample of your rash and send it to the lab to confirm a diagnosis.
The team at Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania takes a multifaceted approach to eczema care. The team encourages you to avoid scratchy materials, use gentle skin and clothing cleansers, and moisturize your skin several times a day to minimize flare-ups.
During a flare-up, the team may recommend:
For patients with severe eczema, the team recommends light therapy or systemic immunomodulators, which alter the immune response that causes the inflammation.
With the right plan, most people can control their eczema. Call Dermatology Associates of Western Pennsylvania or request an appointment online today.