Eczema is a common skin condition that is estimated to affect 20 percent of infants and 3 percent of adults. This condition can cause the skin to become inflamed and irritated. Fortunately, eczema can be effectively managed with eczema treatments at Alta Vista Dermatology. We welcome patients from Denver, Highlands Ranch, and the neighboring areas of Colorado.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a general term used to describe a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. It is usually one of two forms, either atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis. Itchy skin is a common symptom of eczema. Sometimes the itching will start before the rash appears, which is typically on the face, back of the knees, hands, wrists, or feet. Other areas of the body may also be affected. Eczema also can affect pigmentation among darker-skinned people. Scratching causes the eczema to become crusty, which can signal infection. Fortunately, the board-certified team at Alta Vista Dermatology can help patients identify the correct treatment plans to reduce symptoms and clear up their skin.
What is Atopic Dermatitis?
The most common type of eczema is atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. Those who develop atopic dermatitis are often genetically predisposed to developing it. This condition leads to dehydration of the skin, and allows irritants to penetrate the skin more easily. Atopic dermatitis has also been linked to food allergies. The majority of people who develop atopic dermatitis are children five years or younger, and it most often forms in the folds of the elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles.
What is Contact Dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is a form of eczema that develops as a result of a chemical making contact with the skin. Most often, this form of eczema is caused by poison oak or cosmetic products such as soaps, lotions or creams. Usually, contact dermatitis can be effectively managed by avoiding the substance that irritates the skin. If this does not work, it may be necessary to see a dermatologist.
What Causes Eczema?
The cause of eczema is unknown; however, researchers believe it may be linked to the body’s immune system overreacting to an irritant. Some people may have flare-ups in response to certain conditions or substances. Triggers of eczema may include:
- Rough or coarse materials
- Hot or cold temperatures
- Exposure to household products such as detergent or soap
- Animal dander
- Colds or upper respiratory infections
How is Eczema Treated?
It is important to note that eczema is not contagious and cannot spread from one person to another. At Alta Vista Dermatology, we can provide relief for the symptoms of eczema such as itching. We can help patients avoid eczema outbreaks or lessen the severity of them by tailoring treatment plans to meet their needs. We often recommend moisturizing frequently and reducing stress. In most cases, we will recommend a topical solution to help minimize and prevent eczema flare ups. It is important to avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity, harsh soaps, solvents, and sweating or overheating. Scratchy materials such as wool and certain foods and beverages also can cause outbreaks.
Eczema can be effectively treated and controlled with the right approach. At Alta Vista Dermatology, we will develop a unique treatment plan to help you overcome eczema and its symptoms. To learn more about eczema treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact us today. We proudly serve Denver, Highlands Ranch, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.
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