Eczema Treatment in Katy, Sugar Land and Houston, Texas
Genetic and environmental factors can play a role in the development of eczema, nevertheless, the condition can often be treated by decreasing the bacterial burden of the skin (dilute bleach baths), gentle skin care (use of fragrance-free and preservative-free agents), aggressive lubrication with thick moisturizers and judicious use of topical corticosteroid agents.
Recalcitrant and widespread cases require a more thorough investigation of the triggers (allergy testing) and potential use of systemic medications and/or light-based therapies.
Developing eczema is never fun to go through. It can make us feel isolated and uncomfortable, and leaving the house, even for a moment, can become harder knowing others will most likely stare. As common as eczema is, affecting nearly 3 million US citizens a year, we still have no cure for it. However, if you suffer from eczema, there are many treatments available, depending on the severity of your condition. Many dermatologists are working hard in the care of your skin, and hope to one day help rid you of your blemishes.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition caused by abnormal barrier and immunologic functions of the skin. Eczema typically presents as dry itchy skin patches during the first years of life, predominantly involving the scalp, face and flexural areas.
The most common form of eczema is Atopic Dermatitis. It is a chronic skin condition caused by a barrier dysfunction and increased inflammation, and, for the most part, hereditary. The easiest way to understand it, is that where healthy skin has an outer skin barrier that allows moisture to penetrate the skin while keeping irritants out, those that have eczema have a weak skin barrier that causes moisture to escape and irritants to enter. By having a weak skin barrier, your skin becomes dry and itchy, causing the urge to scratch the infected area, and therefore creating an outbreak. Thankfully, there are steps we can take to calm and soothe our infected areas.
Everyone has different triggers as to what causes their eczema in Houston, and once we understand our specific trigger, we can be aware of what to look for and when to catch it. There are three main triggers to be aware of; irritants, environment, and emotional.
Irritants can cause bacteria to enter your skin causing an outbreak. Things such as synthetic fibers, detergents, perfumes, dust, sand, etc. can cause inflammation.
Your environment can also play a key role in your trigger. Understand what kind of weather affects you, be it hot or cold temperatures, humidity, or dry air.
The last trigger, which can be hard to control, is emotional. Although at times can be hard to manage, anxiety and stress can cause flares, so if your trigger is emotional, try different techniques to soothe your mind when in stressful situations.
There are many treatments on the market right now to help in controlling your eczema. There are excellent over-the-counter products like moisturizers and cleansers. These can help by reducing symptoms like swelling, redness, and itchiness. Ask your dermatologist what the best product to buy before trying different treatments.
Moisturizing is very important when fighting eczema. Because your skin becomes dry and itchy, moisturizing is key in stopping inflammation from starting. It is important to understand how and when to moisturize properly, and what products to use that is best fit for you. And very importantly to avoid scratching, rubbing and scrubbing the skin.
Proper bathing techniques, which include spending no longer than 10 minutes in the shower/tub, avoiding hot water, and avoiding sponges, loofas and rags are also important and highly effective in treating dry skin.
There are many other treatments on the market, and those that can be prescribed, depending on the severity of your eczema. Before experimenting with treatments on your own however, make sure to first ask your Houston dermatologist for a consultation. They will be able to further assist you and your skin, understanding what’s best for you.
At Houston Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, we have experience managing atopic dermatitis (eczema) in all age groups.