What causes Eczema?

Eczema is a group of skin conditions that causes red, itchy and inflamed skin in millions of Americans each year. Eczema may also be referred to as atopic dermatitis. Eczema, like many chronic skin conditions, tends to have regular flare ups with bouts of remission. Common symptoms associated with eczema include,

  • Very itchy skin that gets worse when scratching
  • Dry, rough skin that may become scaly or leathery (especially if you scratch)
  • Swollen and inflamed skin
  • Dark patches of skin
  • Crusting or oozing

If you suspect that you might have eczema, it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis.

What causes eczema?

While there is so much that we still don’t fully understand about eczema it is believed that eczema may be caused by genetics (there is a certain gene mutation that appears in many people with eczema) or an overactive immune system.

What can trigger eczema symptoms?

While we still don’t know exactly what causes eczema, we certainly know that there are certain factors that can trigger a flare-up. By determining what causes your eczema flare-ups, we can help you control your symptoms. Common triggers include,

  • Dry skin
  • Fragrances
  • Soaps
  • Cleaning products (including detergents)
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Certain chemicals (often found in disinfectants)
  • Stress
  • Extreme weather
  • Hormones
  • Allergens (e.g. dust mites; pet dander)

How is eczema treated?

Your dermatologist can help you determine your eczema triggers and also create a treatment plan to help control your symptoms. Your treatment plan will usually contain lifestyle modifications (to avoid specific triggers), medications and therapies. For example, steroid creams may be helpful for reducing inflammation.

However, if your eczema symptoms are unresponsive to medication and lifestyle changes then you may want to consider other treatment options such as laser therapy. Here at Young Dermatology, we offer Xtrac Laser, which is used to treat eczema, psoriasis and vitiligo. Xtrac laser therapy is a painless, non-invasive procedure with no downtime or anesthesia that can treat inflamed skin in under 20 minutes. Most patients will see results after just a couple of sessions.

No matter whether you are experiencing symptoms of eczema or you have questions about the eczema treatments we offer, call Young Dermatology today at (206) 456-4464 to learn more about your eczema treatment options.