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Mar 01, 2024

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Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is one the most common skin conditions that affects people of all ages. Generally, it is a term meaning skin inflammation and leads to itchy, dry, and flaky skin that an can occur anywhere on the body.

It is common to have eczema as well as asthma and even other allergies. There is no “one cause” to eczema, since it is an inflammatory process that can vary from person to person; however, common triggers include fragrances, weather changes, allergies, stress, and even certain foods. Eczema is usually a chronic condition that comes and goes, so it is important to find your triggers and take good care of your skin.

The first step to try and take is using sensitive skin products – changing your detergents, soaps, lotions, body washes to non-fragrance and sensitive skin brands and then using an emollient, like petrolatum jelly, on wet skin. Since fragrances are a common trigger, most patients avoid eczema flares by following the steps mentioned, but in other patients, one must note any patterns they notice when they get an eczema flare. Some patients may be sensitive to certain foods and a notice a flare after eating that food, while others flare in the cold weather or even when stressed.

Your specialist most likely will start with topical steroids to calm your flare-ups, and other times can use steroid-free topicals, and even for more severe or refractory instances, using injection or even oral medications.

Many patients note that eczema greatly affects their quality of life and self esteem, which is an on-going dilemma in eczema patients. It is important to find good ways to cope with your symptoms and always communicate your needs and concerns with your provider, so that they can best help improve your well-being. Many patients can also find relief in talking to other patients that go through the same struggling symptoms and find relief in relieving stress through meditation or even finding different fragrance-free or skin irritant-free brands to avoid flares.

Once you and your provider are able to properly identify your eczema triggers, your journey to navigate your flares becomes a lot easier and accepting and implementing the changes in your life can greatly improve your symptoms.