Eczema Treatment in Charlotte
Eczema can be a frustrating and difficult condition for many individuals, as it may interfere with your daily life and health. At Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, we understand the impact that eczema can have on your lifestyle and well-being, and we are committed to providing comprehensive care to help manage and treat this condition.
Our team of board-certified allergists and experienced healthcare professionals is dedicated to providing personalized treatment plans and ongoing support to help you live your life to the fullest. Whether you are seeking a diagnosis, treatment, or ongoing management of your eczema so you can find relief from your symptoms, we are here to help you every step of the way.
How to Request an Appointment
At Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center, we offer comprehensive evaluation and treatment for your eczema. If you suspect you may have eczema or have experienced irritation on your skin, you can request an appointment with our team of board-certified allergists and experienced healthcare professionals.
To schedule an appointment, you can call our office or fill out the online appointment request form on our website. Our friendly staff will work with you to find a convenient date and time for your visit.
During your appointment, our allergists will review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and conduct any necessary tests to determine if you have eczema. Based on your evaluation, our team will develop a personalized treatment plan to help manage your symptoms.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a rash that arises from a variety of skin conditions. Itchy patches appear on the skin, often becoming swollen or scaly. Sores or blisters may also emerge. If scratched, eczema can get worse and result in inflection.
Remember that eczema varies greatly in appearance. Though eczema often looks different on children and adults, it also may vary from individual to individual, or even on different areas of the same body.
Typically, eczema affects the bends of elbows and backs of knees, as well as the nape, wrists, ankles, backs of hands, tops of feet, groin and buttocks. It’s especially common on the scalp and cheeks of infants.
It’s important to note that eczema isn’t contagious. That’s because eczema is the result of an individual’s immune system. Sometimes people outgrow eczema, or their flare-ups become less frequent over time – though others may have lifelong symptoms.
Types of Eczema
The two most common types of eczema are atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis.
Usually, people mean atopic dermatitis when they talk about eczema. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema, resulting from an abnormal reaction of the immune system.
Because atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition, those with it will often experience flare-ups. It’s most developed in infancy, though about half of children will outgrow the condition.
On the other hand, contact dermatitis is caused by exposure to a particular substance. Irritants may include metals, plants, cosmetics, detergents, soaps, or toxic substances (such as a chemical or cleaner).
When the skin encounters an irritant, the eczema rash will appear. For this reason, contact dermatitis can be easily prevented by avoiding exposure to the irritant at fault.
What are the Triggers & Risk Factors for Eczema?
Eczema has several different triggers that can start symptoms or make them worse, including:
- Dry skin
- Changes in temperature or humidity
- Irritants (i.e. tight or scratchy clothing, metals, plants, cosmetics, detergents, soaps, perfumes, chemicals, cleaners and cigarette smoke)
- Allergens (i.e. pollen, dust, pet dander, mites and mold)
- Respiratory infections or colds
- Food allergies
- Changes in hormone levels
In addition to these triggers, some people may be predisposed to developing eczema. For example, infants are more likely to develop eczema, with 90% of cases occurring before the age of five.
Having allergies or asthma is also a significant risk factor for eczema. In fact, 20% of adults with atopic dermatitis have asthma. If you have allergic disorders, or a family history of them, you should be especially attentive to eczema symptoms and triggers.
Finally, long-term exposure to triggers, such as living in a cold climate or being exposed to secondhand smoke, may also increase your risk for eczema.
What are the Symptoms of Eczema?
As mentioned, eczema ranges in appearance. It’s characterized by itchy patches of skin that may be or have:
- Red and swollen
- Dry and scaly
- Crusty sores or blisters
- Flushed or discolored
- Rough and leathery
- Raised bumps
- Yellowish ooze
Remember that eczema can appear differently on skin tones. For example, eczema on black skin may have brown or purplish patches that are swollen or scaly. The affected skin may also develop raised bumps, especially on the arms and legs.
While eczema can appear anywhere on the body, it’s most common increases such as the elbows, knees, necks, wrists, ankles, groin, buttocks, etc.
How is Eczema Diagnosed?
To diagnose eczema, a dermatologist or allergist will examine your affected skin, as well as get a thorough medical history.
If the doctor suspects contact dermatitis, he/she will do a patch test to determine what’s triggering your symptoms. A patch test involves applying tiny amounts of irritants onto your skin to see if you have a reaction.
As eczema is often linked with allergic disorders and asthma, you doctor might also perform other allergy tests to inhalants, pollens, or foods at your appointment.
Eczema Treatment in Charlotte
There’s no cure for eczema, so treatment programs will focus on alleviating symptoms and preventing future recurrences.
First, doctors will recommend robust lifestyle changes for better skin health, such as regularly moisturizing skin, using a bedroom humidifier, changing a bathing routine, or wearing loose-fitting clothing.
Whenever possible, you should also take preventive measures to avoid being exposed to eczema triggers. Because eczema often flares up from stress, you may also work on reducing stress through relaxation techniques.
Finally, your doctor may prescribe some medications to reduce the itchiness. Here are some typical medications and therapies for eczema:
- Anti-inflammatory topical creams to manage itch
- Antihistamines to control itch at night
- Calcineurin inhibitors to reduce your immune response
- Phototherapy to heal your rash with UV light
- Moisturizers/ Emollients
- Biologic agents such as Dupixent
At Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center, we are dedicated to providing compassionate care and ongoing support to help you live your life to the fullest. Contact us today to request an appointment and take the first step towards managing your eczema.
Is eczema contagious?
No, eczema isn’t contagious. Eczema results from an individual’s immune system, which means it can’t be passed between people.
Is eczema curable?
Unfortunately, eczema isn’t curable. Instead, symptoms of eczema can be managed through lifestyle changes, preventive measures and anti-inflammatory medications. In severe cases, doctors may recommend calcineurin inhibitors to directly reduce the immune response.
What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis?
While both eczema and psoriasis cause skin rashes, they differ in appearance and triggers. With psoriasis, itchiness may sting and the rash may be thicker and more inflamed. Psoriasis may also be triggered by sunburn or a recent vaccination. On the other hand, eczema is extremely itchy and may look swollen, scaly or crusty. Eczema may be triggered by a wide range of irritants, such as chemicals or allergens. Another telling sign? Psoriasis is rare in babies and young children, while eczema is quite common.
What cures eczema fast?
Generally speaking, you can’t cure eczema. However, you can relieve symptoms of eczema through lifestyle changes and anti-inflammatory medications. Often home remedies such regularly moisturizing skin can make a difference, too.