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Eczema Specialist

District Dermatology

Dermatologists & Mohs Surgeons located in McLean, VA

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common childhood skin condition that’s estimated to affect up to 20% of all children worldwide. While eczema can also affect adults, most older people who live with the problem first developed it when they were small. Eczema rashes may be chronic and recurrent, but the condition is controllable with the right management strategies. The team at District Dermatology in McLean, Virginia, provides effective management strategies for patients of all ages with eczema. Call or book your appointment online today.

Eczema Q & A

What is eczema?

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, can range in severity from the occasional dry skin to uncomfortable outbreaks that cause incredibly itchy or painful rashes.

During an eczema outbreak, symptoms often become worse at night, causing an urge to itch that can be so intense it causes sleep disruptions. At such times, many eczema patients scratch their skin until it breaks, leaving it susceptible to infection.

What are the symptoms of eczema?

Babies who are diagnosed with eczema before their first birthday usually get dry, red, scaly patches on their cheeks, forehead, and scalp. When the condition develops after the age of two, it’s more likely to appear as a rash in the creases of a child’s elbows or knees, or along their neck, wrists, or ankles.

In adults, eczema may cover larger areas of skin. It’s more likely to be unusually severe on the neck, face, and around the eyes.

About nine out of 10 people with eczema developed the problem before they turned five years old. Although it’s a long-term condition, only half of the people who develop eczema as a child continue to have symptoms as an adult.

What causes eczema?

Although dermatologists and other medical experts don’t know what causes a person to develop eczema, the disorder appears to run in families alongside other common childhood health issues; many children who have eczema are also closely related to someone who has eczema, hay fever, or asthma.

Half of all children with eczema continue to have some symptoms into adulthood, but many of the babies who develop eczema during infancy no longer have any symptoms at all by their second birthday.

How can eczema be managed effectively?

As a chronic, long-term skin disorder, eczema is incurable. It can, however, be managed effectively with the right treatment approach.

Proper management strategies and an eczema friendly skin care routine can be highly effective for reducing eczema symptoms, avoiding skin infections, and preventing outbreaks. The team at District Dermatology can develop a personalized treatment plan designed to:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Relieve itching and pain
  • Clear any infection
  • Loosen and remove lesions
  • Decrease new lesions

Successful eczema control also includes avoiding anything that may trigger an outbreak. While you may not always know the specific cause of an eczema flare-up, common triggers include:

  • Emotional stress
  • Sweaty skin
  • Sunburned skin
  • Irritating detergents and soaps  
  • Dry, windy air

Your daily skin care routine is another essential component of eczema management. It involves using a mild, fragrance-free cleanser and keeping your showers warm and short, rather than hot and long. It’s also essential to apply topical medications and moisturizers just after bathing, when your skin more readily absorbs them.

To find out how the right strategies can help get your eczema under control, call or book an appointment online today.