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HOW TO COPE WITH ECZEMA

Itchy, red, inflamed patches, blisters and cracking…these could be signs of eczema or atopic dermatitis, a very skin common problem. Depending on the cause, eczema can flare up with severe symptoms at times. It can also be a chronic problem for many people with less intense symptoms and less frequent flares. Eczema means different things to different people.

Up to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults develop atopic dermatitis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Some of the most common causes and irritants are detergents, soap, synthetic fabrics, sweating, household chemicals, certain foods, dust mites, fragrance, pets, plants and other allergy triggers. If you tend to have many allergies, hayfever and other conditions, you may be more prone to eczema or atopic dermatitis.

Avoid things that may trigger outbreaks is the first step to take. The worst thing you can do is to scratch. Scratching the skin can cause it to become thickened and red. It can also create wounds that may become infected if left untreated. You should avoid using potent skin care products, scrubs with large particles, and rubbing your skin with a loofah or anything rough that can increase irritation and cause the problem to spread.

If you think you may have dermatitis, see your Dermatologist who can make a diagnosis and prescribe the right medications if needed. Treatments range from simply avoiding the allergic triggers that cause flare-ups, to antihistamines, antibiotics and steroid drugs applied to the skin or taken in a pill form.

Find a dermatologist near you at aad.org or visit the ZO®DoctorFinder.