Eczema is a medical term used to describe a group of conditions, the most common being atopic dermatitis. The team of doctors at The Dermatology Clinic can help you find the most suitable treatment plan for eczema rashes and flare-ups. It’s important to note that eczema is a chronic condition for most people, and some rashes may require more time to respond to treatment (one to three weeks in some cases). If you or your child have struggled with dry or itchy breakouts, it’s important to seek a proper diagnosis since each eczema type has its own set of symptoms, triggers, and courses of treatment.

What Is Eczema?

Commonly used as an umbrella term for several skin conditions, eczema actually describes a reaction pattern that most often starts as red, raised tiny blisters enclosing a clear fluid atop red, elevated plaques. Childhood eczema is common, with a reported 1 in 10 American children diagnosed with the condition; however, the condition usually gradually improves as they get older. For people who experience dry, inflamed skin in certain areas that prompt intense scratching from time to time, it’s safe to say they’re experiencing eczema outbreaks.

3 Types of Eczema

While all of the skin diseases referred to as eczema typically induce itchy rashes, certain symptoms are specific to distinct types of eczema. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of three types of eczema and a breakdown of related symptoms:

Atopic Dermatitis

The most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis, often occurs in people with asthma and hay fever, known as the atopic triad. Symptoms are similar in most people affected, though flare-up frequency and intensity vary from person to person. The itch can be so severe that it keeps children from getting sleep, and scratching the affected areas can lead to an infection. To relieve itching, infants may rub against bedding or carpet; patches may appear on the face, eyelids, or scalp, especially the cheeks.

Contact Dermatitis

An allergic reaction caused by a substance that comes in contact with one’s skin, contact dermatitis is characterized by itchy bumps that cause the skin to thicken and become leathery to the touch over time. With this condition, a person may experience an outbreak of hives or blisters that induce pain and ooze after they burst.

Contact dermatitis comes in two forms: allergic contact dermatitis describes an immune system reaction to a skin irritant like latex or certain hair dyes, whereas irritant contact dermatitis can develop as the result of a chemical or other substance irritating the skin.

Nummular Dermatitis

Known for its disc or coin-shaped red patches, the reaction caused by nummular dermatitis can appear on the lower limbs, and it tends to occur after exposure to dry, cold air or chemicals. Exposure to metals like nickel can also be a trigger. More men than women are affected, though the condition affects the sexes at different ages. Women may have their first outbreak in their teens, but men generally don’t experience symptoms until their mid-50s. Protecting and moisturizing skin can help to minimize discomfort. Steroid ointments and antibiotics may also be necessary.

Tips to Help Reduce Eczema Outbreaks

Exposure to aggressive eczema triggers can happen in a blink of an eye, and though they can’t always be avoided, there are a few ways to help reduce the intensity or prevent the onset of an outbreak:

  • Moisture your skin frequently, as often as you notice dryness. Use fragrance-free face and body moisturizers
  • Pay attention to products that irritate your skin, especially detergents, soaps, dyes, or perfumes
  • After bathing, gently blot (not rub) your skin with a bath towel
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to your environment as you sleep
  • Apply cool compresses to the skin

Visit The Dermatology Clinic for Eczema Treatment

Our team of board-certified dermatologists can assess your eczema symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options for your specific skin condition. We can also provide specialized care for infants, children, and adolescents with eczema and other skin disorders. Schedule an appointment at either of our clinics in Baton Rouge or Walker to learn more about eczema relief and other treatment options.