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What Is Eczema?

 

October is Eczema Awareness Month. Eczema is very common and can be uncomfortable even painful at times. We're here to help by addressing triggers and care to help minimize flare-ups and discomfort.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is the name for a group of skin conditions that cause skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed. There are 7 types: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, neurodermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis. Approximately 10% of people in the U.S. have some form of eczema.

Symptoms

  • Dry, red, or discolored skin
  • Itching and inflammation
  • Rough leathery or scaly patches of skin
  • Oozing or crusting

Causes and Triggers

Irritating or sensitizing products, genetics, environmental and lifestyle factors.

Treatment

  • Take lukewarm baths
  • Apply moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing to “lock in” moisture
  • Moisture every day
  • Wear soft fabrics
  • Use a humidifier in dry or cold weather
  • Use a mild soap or a non-soap cleanser when washing
  • Air dry or gently pat the skin dry with a towel, rather than rubbing the skin dry after bathing
  • Avoid rapid changes of temperature and activities that cause sweating
  • learn and avoid individual eczema triggers

Products and Topical Medications

  • Mild soaps and cleansers: Use soaps and cleansers that are gentle on sensitive skin to reduce the risk of a flare up or irritation.
  • Barrier repair moisturizers: These reduce water loss and work to repair the skin.
  • Moisturizing lotions: Choose a moisturizer that is safe for sensitive skin and uses minimal ingredients and is safe for daily use. Use this to prevent cracked and flaky skin.
  • Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments: These are anti-inflammatory medications and should relieve the main symptoms of eczema, such as inflammation and itchiness. People can apply them directly to the skin. Some people may benefit from prescription-strength medications.

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