Many people in Westchester and across New York suffer from a skin condition called eczema. Eczema is actually the name for a group of conditions that can cause patches of the skin to become itchy, dry, or inflamed. This can also cause discomfort, pain, and self-consciousness for those that have it.

However, while there is no cure just yet, there are many effective ways to treat and prevent eczema. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, we see many patients seeking treatment for this frustrating condition. If you live in White Plains and are concerned about your skin or believe you have eczema, contact us today for a consultation with one of our specialists.

What is eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that involves itching, dryness, and inflammation. It’s a chronic, non-contagious condition that can flare and subside at random, and while it can occur anywhere on the skin, it is most commonly found on the arms and knees.

Eczema can affect anyone of any age or skin color, and around 85% of people with eczema first experience it before the age of 5.

There are several types of eczema, and people can develop more than one type at the same time. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form, followed by contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic dermatitis, hand dermatitis, neurodermatitis, nummular dermatitis, occupational dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis.

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What causes eczema?

The exact cause of eczema is not yet known, though doctors and scientists believe it could be caused by a combination of irritable or sensitive skin and a malfunction within the immune system.

A genetic component may also be involved, as it is common for multiple members of the same family to have the condition, as well as a heightened risk of eczema if one or more relatives have seasonal allergies or asthma.

Some forms of eczema are triggered by substances that come into contact with the skin, such as soaps, cosmetics or detergents, and even sweat or clothing.

What are the symptoms of eczema?

The different types of eczema can present with different symptoms, though the most common symptoms among all of them are dry skin, reddened skin, itching, or patches that look burned. Each person’s eczema may appear differently, though a general flare-up usually involves dry and scaly skin that itches intensely, followed by blisters and oozing lesions. These symptoms can last for hours or days, or can in some cases persist for months and years.

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How is eczema treated?

When you visit our office in Rye Brook, a specialist will develop an eczema treatment plan for you. The goal of this plan is to prevent itching and reduce inflammation to stop the condition from getting worse and may involve some lifestyle changes.

Depending on your situation, medical history, and the presentation or type of your eczema, a corticosteroid may be prescribed to stop inflammation. Phototherapy and light therapy can also be used as another form of treatment.

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How can I prevent eczema?

It’s important to know what triggers your eczema, in order to manage your symptoms effectively. While it may not be clear what the root cause is of eczema, there are measures that can be taken to prevent an outbreak:

  • Have good skin hygiene – keep the skin moist and hydrated with mild moisturizer and ointments. Apply these to the skin after a lukewarm bath or shower, as hot water dries the skin.
  • Avoid contacts with known irritants such as non-mild soaps, perfumes, and jewelry.
  • Use a cold compress to control uncomfortable itching sensations.
  • Keep your nails and hands clean to avoid infection from scratching.

If you have or think you have eczema, call the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery in Westchester for a consultation with one of our specialists.

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