When it comes to skin rashes, eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is the most common type of inflammatory skin disease. What can start as just itchy skin may develop into a skin rash with redness and scaly skin. While there is occasionally an identifiable cause, like poison ivy, oftentimes eczema is just a skin sensitivity with inflammation, which can make the skin very irritated.
Eczema does not discriminate based on age or race and can start at anytime. It can also affect any part of the body, including hands and feet. Sometimes eczema can mimic other skin conditions like a fungal infection or psoriasis, so it’s important to have any skin rashes evaluated to determine what is going on and receive adequate treatment.
- Scratching and itching makes eczema worse. It starts a snowball effect of itching, which leads to a rash, which leads to more itching! It’s important to try to control the itching aspect as much as possible to help keep eczema from getting worse.
- Eczema is not contagious. You cannot spread eczema to someone else or spread it on yourself. While there is a genetic component, you don’t have to worry about coming into contact with others.
- Eczema can be treated, but cannot be cured. There are many creams available that can help to control eczema, but ultimately it is something that comes and goes. There are certain factors that may cause eczema flares, like weather changes or harsh products, so ideally these are avoided as much as possible.
- A skin maintenance routine is important for helping prevent eczema flares. Even when skin improves after an eczema flare, it doesn’t mean the eczema is gone forever. Getting on a good routine of gentle skin care including mild cleansers and thick moisturizers can help with itching and prevention of future flares to some degree. It’s important to avoid fragrance or other chemicals that may be irritating if you have eczema.
- Eczema can be hereditary. If your mom or dad had sensitive skin, it’s possible that you may inherit that from them as well or pass it on to your children.
If you would like more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us by calling the office at 706-691-7079. Savannah River Dermatology is located at 575 Furys Ferry Rd, Martinez, GA 30907.