Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema (pronounced “EK-zema”), is a skin condition that causes dry, scaly, red, and itchy skin. It can occur at any age, and is more frequent in some families. It affects 10-20% of children and 1-3% of adults. The cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, but genetic factors play a strong role. The symptoms are due to a dysfunctional outer layer of the skin known as the epidermis. Normally, an intact epidermis keeps out environmental irritants, allergens, and microbes. Because the skin is not working properly, these substances get into the body which leads to inflammation. In children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, up to 2/3 of them may have some underlying food allergy.

SKIN CARE, SKIN CARE, SKIN CARE! Appropriate skin care is the cornerstone of treatment for atopic dermatitis. Aggressive moisturization with hypo-allergenic lotion or cream is the key to preventing skin dryness. More recommendations are:

  • Soaking bath daily

  • Regular use of moisturizers

    • Vaseline (non-scented)

    • VaniCream

    •  Crisco All Vegetable Shortening (yes, the cooking tub!)

    •  CeraVe

  • Oral antihistamines for itch

  • Check Vitamin D level, can be low in eczema patients

  • Topical steroids, ranging from low potency hydrocortisone OTC to                                                                        highly potent prescription ointments like clobetasol

  • Non-steroid topical prescription products (Elidel, Protopic and Eucrisa) 

  • Antibiotics, oral or topical, if skin becomes infected

  • ‘Bleach baths’ using ½ cup bleach in bath a few days a week

  • Severe cases may require new biologic injection, Dupixent

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If you feel you suffer from eczema, call 313-871-7572 to schedule an appointment today.