What Is Eczema?

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic , genetic, skin condition. Because it is a part of your genetic makeup, it is not a condition that is cured, but rather a condition that is managed. To properly diagnose and treat this common skin condition, you need an examination by a dermatologist. It is not usually a life-threatening condition, but the flare ups can interfere with a person’s daily quality of life.

What are common symptoms of eczema?

Eczema is a condition of dry skin that itches before the rash erupts. The skin dries out easier than people without eczema. The dry skin becomes extremely itchy and the scratching leads to changes like redness, scaling, and crust. Occasionally, the scratched open and inflamed skin can become infected. People with eczema can be more predisposed to allergic reactions and the two conditions can be present at the same time.

How Is Eczema Diagnosed

Your doctor will first want to know about your medical history and will then perform a physical exam. It is helpful if you document how often your symptoms occur and whether you’ve noticed any particular triggers that make your condition worse or better. An exam is usually all that is required to diagnose eczema. However, in some cases, your dermatologist might want further testing to rule out allergies or other possible causes of your rashes.

What are my eczema treatment options?

Your dermatologist will go over lifestyle changes that are helpful to try and prevent flares in those with eczema skin. Most importantly, the skin should be moisturized daily to multiple times a day with ideally a cream or ointment based moisturizer. The use of hypoallergenic products is encouraged as patients with eczema are more prone to developing allergies to products. Product labelling can be tricky here, as “hypoallergenic” is not the same as “all natural” for instance.

Treatments for mild eczema are usually lifestyle changes with occasional use of topical steroids for flares. More moderate cases may require other topical treatments that are now available. And the most severe of cases may require systemic treatments. Your dermatologist will be able to discuss your treatment options to come up with the best solution for you and your condition.

Where should I go for treatment of eczema in Ashburn?

At Clear Dermatology, we specialize in treating all skin conditions including eczema. If you have eczema or need an exam to confirm your diagnosis, please contact us at 703-996-4000 to schedule your appointment. Let’s work on a treatment plan that will give you much needed relief!