What is Eczema and How is it Treated?

Eczema is the name of a group of skin conditions that cause red, itchy, inflamed, scaly and sometimes blistering or weepy skin changes. Eczema can begin in childhood or as an adult. Eczema can last for a few weeks or can flare off and on over the course of a patient’s life. The main cause of eczema is a weakened skin barrier that allows allergens to enter the superficial layers of the skin, setting off an allergic response. This leads to redness and itching, then skin breakdown. 

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the medical term for eczema that is more chronic in nature. Patients with AD also tend to have other allergic conditions like seasonal allergies/hay fever and/or asthma. 

The National Eczema Association reports that around 31 million Americans are living with eczema, making it one of the most common conditions in dermatology.

No cure has been found for eczema, but symptoms are manageable through self-care and topical treatments (creams or ointments) and systemic treatments (pills or injectables).

A man performing his skincare routine. Get Started with your treatment at Tennessee Telederm. Schedule an online dermatology appointment.

Who Gets Eczema Symptoms?

Symptoms can present to anyone at any age. Typically, if an infant or child develops eczema, they can grow out of it in time. It is important to note that eczema is not contagious. It is more closely related to allergic reactions.

People with eczema report flareups after eating certain foods such as:

  • Nuts
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Eggs

Other allergens in the environment that can cause flare-ups include pollen, poor air quality, smoke and perfumes.

Eczema in Children

As children get older, they tend to present more symptoms. The rashes tend to occur around high traction areas of the body, such as around the elbows, wrists, and ankles. The texture of the rashes tends to present as bumpy spots that become either lighter or darker. 

Rashes can also cause the skin to thicken. If left untreated, skin thickening or lichenification may leave the child with a permanent itch. 

Tennessee TeleDerm treats children over the age of 12.

A man performing his skincare routine. Get Started with your treatment at Tennessee Telederm. Schedule an online dermatology appointment.

Eczema in Adults

For adults, rashes can develop in all the same places as they do for children. Adults may also notice symptoms developing around the nape of the neck. Rashes can also spread to most of the body, creating a further risk of lichenification, permanent itching, skin infections and very dry skin.

Infected Eczema

Because one of the main symptoms of eczema is itchiness, repeated scratching can damage the skin and leave it vulnerable to infections. Infected eczema presents symptoms including intense burning and itching sensations, blistering, pus, and fluid drainage.

While open, these sores are vulnerable to Staphylococcus infections. Normally, the Staph. Bacteria is harmless on the surface of the skin, but once it has an entrance into the body, it quickly can make infections worse. 

Staph infections from eczema will present more intense itching and burning, increased inflammation and redness, pain at the infection site, and yellow-colored pus and fluid drainage.

Eczema Treatment Through Online Dermatology Appointments

A man performing his skincare routine. Get Started with your treatment at Tennessee Telederm. Schedule an online dermatology appointment.

Because eczema is a condition that responds uniquely to every patient, finding the right way to manage your symptoms can be a challenge. Even more so when you have to worry about scheduling appointments months in advance to go visit your doctor.

However, through the online dermatology appointments with Tennessee Telederm, you can skip the inconvenient waiting times and fit an appointment right in with your schedule.

How Our Appointments Work

First, visit the Get Started page for specific instructions for setting up your account through our patient portal. Make sure to fill out your profile completely.

Next, you set up an appointment through your portal. You will be given a prompt to upload photos of your condition before your appointment. Uploading pictures of your atopic eczema will help us diagnose and treat your specific type of eczema.

Within 24 hours after your appointment, you will receive an email with your diagnosis and treatment plan. You will also receive instructions for any prescription medications given in your appointment.

What Kind of Medicine Will I Get To Help My Eczema?

There are several types of medications that are effective for managing eczema.

  • Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments
  • Systemic corticosteroids

Because the most common symptom of eczema is a chronic itch due to inflammation, these medications use steroids to reduce swelling. Topical medications are generally first, but if the patient needs more potent medicine, an oral corticosteroid may be prescribed.

Antibiotics

If the symptoms present with a bacterial skin infection, antibiotics are the best option for treatment.

Antiviral Medications & Antifungal medications

Open sores caused by eczema are not just vulnerable to bacterial infections, but also viral and fungal infections. These may be prescribed either topically or as an oral pill.

Antihistamines

Similar to some food allergies, antihistamines can be used to help regulate the body’s overactive immune response to reduce inflammation and itching from eczema.

Barrier Repair Moisturizers

Because of the itching, dryness and irritation from eczema, the skin’s natural protective barrier becomes much weaker during flare-ups. To repair the skin’s natural defenses, it will be important to protect and moisturize the skin. Kristen Sterling, APRN can give you specific recommendations on the best moisturizers to use for eczema during your appointment.

Can I Treat Eczema Naturally?

Prescription medications are usually the most effective treatment for eczema. However, there are some natural homeopathic remedies that many patients find effective.

Dietary changes can be very helpful for people living with eczema. Pay attention to what you’re eating around the time of a flare-up, and if you notice a certain food causing flare-ups, then try adjusting your diet.

What Other Common Conditions Do You Treat?

We provide treatment for all types of dermatology conditions, including:

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Acne
  • Rashes
  • Fungal infections
  • Poison ivy

Dermatology encompasses all conditions that affect the skin, hair and nails. We can also help identify and recommend treatment for early skin cancers.

Create Your Account to Make An Online Dermatology Appointment Today

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