Coastal Hills Dermatology
Lucas Bingham, MD
Dermatologist located in Ladera Ranch, CA
If you’ve noticed a red patch on your baby’s cheeks that becomes irritated with scratching, or if you’ve noticed something similar on your inner elbows, it might be a case of eczema. Dr. Lucas Bingham, a dermatologist at Coastal Hills Dermatology in Ladera Ranch, California, is an expert in skin conditions like eczema, and can quickly diagnose the condition and determine an appropriate treatment plan. If you have a rash that needs an expert’s examination, call Dr. Bingham’s office or use the handy online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.
Eczema Q & A
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a general term that’s used to describe a group of conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. The most common type of eczema is called atopic eczema, and this type is often inherited and comes along with other allergic conditions such as hay fever or asthma.
Eczema is more common than you might think: It affects about 10–20% of infants and about 3% of adults and children in the United States. Most infants who develop eczema outgrow it by the age of 10, but for those who don’t, symptoms can last throughout your life. However, with proper treatment, symptoms can diminish, and you can control eczema.
What Does Eczema Look and Feel Like?
Eczema is almost always itchy, and the skin is usually:
Eczema most commonly appears on the:
- Back of the knees
If your skin is fair, eczema often looks reddish but then may turn brown. If your skin is dark, eczema can change your skin’s pigmentation, and the affected areas may be either lighter or darker than your normal skin. In infants, eczema can ooze and crust over, usually on the face or scalp.
What Causes Eczema?
Exactly what causes eczema is unknown, but doctors think that it has to do with an overactive response to irritants. Common triggers for eczema include:
- Scratchy materials like wool
- Household products like soap or detergent
- Animal dander
- Upper-respiratory infections or colds
- Being too hot or cold
Eczema also is common in families who suffer from other allergies or asthma.
How is Eczema Treated?
Because eczema causes dry, itchy skin, treatment usually consists of lotions and creams that keep the skin moist. Over-the-counter or prescription hydrocortisone ointments can help with inflammation, and other treatments may include:
- Topical steroids
- Light therapy
- Other medications
If you think you or your child might be suffering from eczema, contact Dr. Bingham at Coastal Hills Dermatology. He can help diagnose the rash and find the right treatment for relief. Call the office or book an appointment online today to get started.