Eczema or atopic dermatitis is the most common chronic skin condition, affecting 10 to 20 percent of infants and two to three percent of children and adults
Eczema is a condition in which the skin becomes red, swollen and itchy. It is very common in infants during the first year of life. Most of the 30 million people in the United States who currently have eczema were diagnosed with the condition as infants or young children. Usually, the symptoms diminish as people age, but some people do continue to have symptoms as adults.
Occasionally, our Austin allergists see people who contract eczema as an adult, never having had it during childhood.
Every patient is unique, experiencing different symptoms, rashes on different parts of the body and symptoms of varying severity. Most often, people have red, dry, sensitive skin that itches, often very intensely. The skin is often inflamed and scaly, and it can become crusty or ooze fluid. Some people may have dark colored patches of skin or swollen areas.
Most commonly, infants have eczema on the face and cheeks. In infants, children and adults, it can also occur in the folds of skin behind the knees, ears or at the bends of the joint near the elbows or wrists. Adults may also notice it on their hands and feet.
Our Austin allergists begin their diagnostic process by taking a complete family and medical history. It is important to know if other family members have suffered from eczema, asthma or hay fever since eczema has been shown to be associated with these factors. We will also perform a physical examination. Our physicians may also decide to perform a patch test, which is a form of allergy testing.
There is no cure for eczema, but our Austin allergists will work with you to manage the condition. Our physicians work with each patient to develop a treatment plan that helps calm the symptoms and treat the itch and pain.
The first line of treatment is usually a moisturizer or topical cream or ointment to calm the skin and reduce the inflammation. If the skin becomes infected during a flare-up, we may prescribe antibiotics as well.
Infants and children may also have food allergies, so our Austin allergists may recommend testing for food allergies to determine if this condition contributes to the problem.
Managing the symptoms of eczema is very important, and our Austin allergists will work with you to make important lifestyle changes that help make this condition more manageable. One of the key factors we will discuss is avoiding triggers and irritants such as pollen, pet dander, harsh soaps, detergents, shampoos and bubble bath.
Our Austin allergists have the training and knowledge to diagnose and treat eczema in infants, children and adults
Eczema can be a frustrating condition for patients and their families, but our Austin allergists have the experience to help patients cope and achieve a better quality of life. Contact us for an appointment.