Questions about Eczema

Questions about Eczema Oct 5, 2021 / by Complete Family Dermatology Team

October is Eczema Awareness Month. It’s important to highlight eczema awareness because dermatologists see many flare-ups during this time of year. The dry skin, colder temps, and environmental changes that come along with fall and winter are common triggers for this condition. To help spread awareness, here are some commonly asked questions about eczema... 

What are the signs of eczema? 

Eczema looks different for everyone, especially in varied races and ethnicities. However, there are some common signs and symptoms — itchy skin, dryness/scaling, red/purple/gray inflamed skin, oozing/crusting, and swelling. Patches can be found in different places on the body, but most likely on the hands, feet, ankles, wrist, neck, eyelids, elbows, knees, face, and scalp. 

What causes eczema?

There is no one cause of eczema. Researchers do know that eczema can be developed by people with a certain combination of genes and environmental triggers. Some irritants or allergens may cause the immune system to overreact and cause the skin cells to become inflamed. They also found that people with a mutation of the gene that creates filaggrin often develop eczema. This gene builds a strong outer layer of skin, which helps keep in moisture and fight off bacteria and viruses.  

What are eczema triggers?

When in contact with a trigger, the immune system tends to overreact. The over-reaction causes inflammation and other symptoms. It can be challenging to detect triggers because a flare-up can happen anytime after being in contact. The most common triggers are dry skin, stress, sweat, changes in weather, certain foods, chemicals, household products, and environmental allergens.  

Is eczema common? 

Not only is this disease found in the US but all around the globe, so it is very common. Over 31 million Americans have some form of eczema. One in ten individuals will develop eczema during their lifetime, with prevalence peaking in early childhood. Nearly half of the children who experience eczema will grow out of it as they get older.  

Who is at risk for developing eczema?

Any age, gender, or race can develop eczema, but the primary risk factor for it is having a personal or family history of eczema, allergies, hay fever, or asthma.  

Is eczema contagious?

No, eczema is not contagious. You can’t give it to or catch it from someone else.  

Can certain foods cause eczema?

There is no official evidence that certain foods cause eczema. Some people who have eczema do report that foods such as dairy, eggs, or nuts may trigger their eczema to flare up. If you think you might have an allergic reaction to certain foods, talk to your doctor about taking an allergy test.  

Is there a cure for eczema?

There is no cure for eczema. Eczema is a chronic skin condition, so it will likely disappear and reappear throughout your lifetime. Luckily, more treatment options have come available as time passes.  

What are the treatment options for eczema?

There are different treatment options recommended depending on the severity of the case. Treatments include over-the-counter remedies, prescription topical medications, phototherapy, immunosuppressants and biologic drugs.  

Closing Thoughts on Questions about Eczema

If you or your child are dealing with eczema, please reach out to Complete Family Dermatology in Lincoln, NE. Our board-certified dermatologist can offer you the right treatment for your condition as well as offer skincare advice. To schedule an appointment, please call 402-423-1111.Reference: National Eczema Association, Frequently Asked Questions about Eczema; Mayo Clinic, Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

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