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.
Eczema is almost always itchy, and the skin is usually:
Eczema most commonly appears on the:
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.
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:
Eczema also is common in families who suffer from other allergies or asthma.
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:
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.
Coastal Hills Dermatology accepts the following insurance providers. Please contact our office or your insurance provider directly for specific questions related to coverage.
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