If you are dealing with eczema and feeling frustrated, you are not alone. The condition can be very challenging to treat. It’s also difficult to know which treatment option would be the most effective for you. A board certified dermatologist helps treat eczema by minimizing flare-ups and frequent need for medication. They can be a big help as they have the necessary training and expertise to diagnose and customize a treatment plan for your condition.
What is Eczema?
Eczema refers to a group of conditions that make the skin itchy, red and inflamed. Also known as dermatitis, eczema can range in intensity from mild to severe. Types of eczema include: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic dermatitis and nummular dermatitis. Eczema can affect people of any age. However, it is very common in babies and young children.
Medical researchers have not yet identified the exact cause of eczema, but it is often linked to allergies. There are a variety of allergens that can trigger eczema. For example, items such as shampoos, soaps, detergents, peanuts, milk, soy and eggs. Stress and hormonal changes can also contribute to flare-ups. External factors can also trigger eczema. For example, cold or hot temperatures, as well as pets, pollens and house dust mites.
A type of steroid called corticosteroid, is often used to treat mild cases of eczema. More severe cases of eczema may require prescription strength medication. Mild doses of these drugs are usually used to minimize possible side-effects.
How Can a Dermatologist Help Treat Eczema?
While it’s not possible to cure eczema at this time, it can be controlled and managed. That’s just one way in which a dermatologist can be a big help to those suffering with the condition.
Controlling eczema means you will experience fewer flare-ups and consequently, there will be less need for any type of medication. A board certified dermatologist has the necessary training and expertise to diagnose the type of eczema you have. They can help you tackle the condition in the most effective way. As well, they have the ability to customize a suitable treatment plan for you.
In order to get eczema under control, a dermatologist must first calm any eruptions often with a topical steroid. This helps moisturize the skin and relieve other symptoms, such as itching and inflammation.
Dermatologists also recommend keeping the skin hydrated in order to keep eczema under control. Often referred to as the skin barrier, moisturizers protect the outer layer of the skin. People with eczema have a damaged skin barrier, which makes the skin more sensitive to allergens, and causes it to feel itchy. Keeping the skin moisturized is a crucial step in controlling eczema. When the skin is dry and itchy, outbreaks are more likely to occur.
If you’re not sure what’s causing your eczema, a dermatologist can help you identify the triggers. They have the tools that can help detect the source of the irritation such as a patch test. The patch test exposes patients to a variety of allergens that typically cause allergies, to determine if any of them bring about an allergic reaction. The dermatologist will be able to suggest any lifestyle changes you need to make.
Since eczema is such a highly individual condition there is no single fix for everyone, and that’s why dermatologists can be so helpful. They can tailor a treatment plan depending on the specific symptoms of each patient.
If you are suffering from eczema, have tried over-the-counter medication with little success, and are not sure what may be triggering it, a visit to a dermatologist is beneficial.