Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is not a specific skin condition—it is a general term for inflamed or irritated skin. There are many different forms of eczema, but they all have one thing in common: itching.
Atopic dermatitis is the most severe and chronic form of eczema. Atopic dermatitis usually appears on the back of the knees, the insides of the elbows, and on the face, though it can cover most of the body.
Because there are so many types of eczema, the symptoms can vary. They may include:
- Itchy skin with inflamed patches
- Swelling, cracking, weeping, crusting and scaling of skin
- Skin thickening
- Skin bubbles
Though eczema is often a chronic condition, there are things you can do to take care of your skin and avoid flare-ups. By avoiding dry skin, you may prevent or minimize flare-ups. Some ways to avoid dry skin include:
- Limiting the frequency and length of showering or bathing
- Using warm water, rather than hot
- Using mild soaps on your skin and rinsing thoroughly
- Using moisturizing lotions after bathing and drying to seal in moisture
- Using mild detergents for washing clothes
The goal of most eczema treatments is to reduce inflammation, relieve itching and help prevent future flare-ups. The itching associated with mild eczema may be adequately treated with SARNA Sensitive lotion and self-care regimens. More severe cases may require prescription medications, such as topical corticosteroid creams and ointments, oral antibiotics, antihistamines or oral corticosteroids. Other options may include special medications called immunomodulators or the use of light therapy. Each treatment has its benefits and side effects—only your doctor can advise you on the best treatment method for your individual situation.
1. Data on file, Crown Laboratories