Eczema is clinically known as atopic dermatitis. It’s a chronic skin condition that is more common in children, but, for the unfortunate few, can continue into or occur in adults. Eczema is characterized by red, itchy, dry skin that appears inflamed.
What causes eczema?
Many people have heard the term eczema from old Tegrin shampoo commercials, where it was clumped with seborrhea and psoriasis. But, while the commercial clumped them all together, they are different skin conditions with different causes.
Like allergies and other overreactions of the body’s immune system, it is thought that eczema is triggered by the immune system. The exact causes of eczema are still unknown, however. There seems to be a genetic predisposition, but it can also crop up as a reaction to things like irritating chemicals or other environmental factors.
What are the symptoms?
Eczema shows itself as patches of chronically dry, itchy, thick skin that appear on the hands, neck, face, and legs. The skin is irritated, showing a red to brownish-gray color in the patches affected. It itches, and that can become more prevalent at night. There may be small bumps in the patches that leak fluid when scratched.
This is adult eczema. In infantile eczema, the dry patches generally occur in the creases of the elbows and knees. Most infant eczema passes.
When should you see the team at Deschutes?
Many people don’t even realize they have eczema, especially living in the low humidity of Central Oregon. Many cases can be managed on your own with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. But if you develop a rash or if that rash develops blisters then it’s time to come see us at Deschutes.
Here’s how we treat eczema
In mild cases, an attentive skin care routine can be all that’s needed. But when things get more severe, these are the treatments we use.
- Prescriptions — hydrocortisone, antibiotics, antihistamines, corticosteroids
- Ultraviolet light therapy
- Immunosuppressants and immunodilators
- Prescription-strength moisturizers
If you have itchy, dry red patches that are becoming intolerable. Call us at Deschutes, 541-330-0900, and let’s see what we can do about your eczema.