What Is Eczema and How Can I Treat It?

Amanda.ZawadzkiAmanda.Zawadzki
May 13
Have you ever looked at your skin and seen areas that are red, patchy, or dry? Maybe even you’ve noticed some place that’s itchy, or it’s irritated. Well, it’s possible that you may actually have eczema! Eczema is a skin condition that can make your skin red, itchy, and inflamed that needs to be diagnosed by your doctor. But don’t worry – you’re not alone! You may be surprised to learn that over 30% of people are diagnosed with some sort of eczema. That’s over 30 million Americans! And luckily, there are a ton of ways to treat it too, so you’re in luck.
What is eczema and what are its symptoms?
As we said, eczema is a skin condition that can result in dry, scaly skin, redness, and itching that can get pretty bad. There are actually a couple types of it too. Atopic dermatitis is something that children suffer from that gets better as they grow up. Most of the time, you’re going to see it in the creases of your elbows and knees, and in babies, it can be on the scalp or cheeks. Similar to atopic is neurodermatitis, which can create scaly patches on your arms, neck, or hands. It can get super itchy, especially at night or when you’re trying to sleep. Contact dermatitis is eczema that occurs as a result of touching something and having an allergic reaction to it. With contact dermatitis, your skin may itch, turn red, and even sting. Over time, it’ll likely dry out, and may even look scaly. 
Dyshidrotic eczema is actually a little bit more serious. It’s characterized by things like blisters that can hurt or itch, which are usually on your fingers, toes, and soles of your feet. Hand eczema is exactly what it sounds like – your hands will usually get itchy, red, and dry, and may even form cracks and blisters, and can come from chemicals that irritate your skin. Nummular eczema is different from all the others, in that it looks like round, coin shaped red spots on your skin that get super itchy. 
Essentially, most types of eczema will make your skin look itchy, red, and inflamed. Causes of eczema depend on the type, but most of the time, irritated skin like this could come from your genes, some sort of environmental trigger – such as bleach, poison ivy, or makeup – allergies, stress and more. Talking to a doctor about your eczema will help you figure out where your eczema has come from, and how you can best treat it!
How do I treat it?
The best type of treatment for your eczema will depend on the type of eczema you have. As a result, it’s vital that if you think you may have eczema, you should go see a doctor or a dermatologist for your diagnosis. That way, they’ll help you figure out if you need medications, or you just need to avoid certain products. And, while there’s no cure for eczema, your doctor or dermatologist can get your symptoms under control and have your skin looking and feeling normal again!
Depending on how bad your eczema is and where it’s coming from, your doctor may prescribe you things like ointments, steroids, antibiotics, or special moisturizers. They may also suggest taking things like antihistamines, such as Benadryl, which can help with itchiness. Many of these will be prescriptions, so there’s no way to get these types of medications without seeing a doctor. So make sure you get in today!
Additionally, there are things you can do yourself to get some relief. Moisturizing every day can keep your skin from getting too dry and itchy. Avoiding products with harsh chemicals can keep your skin from getting irritated. Taking lukewarm baths can make sure your skin doesn’t get too hot and red, which will keep your skin healthy and your eczema in control. If you’re worried about itching too much, keeping your nails short can keep you from cutting your skin when you itch it. While these remedies won’t fully solve your problems or cure your eczema, they can often help you get some relief from the itchiness, redness, and irritation!
While eczema isn’t entirely curable (unless it results from exposing yourself to specific chemicals that you can avoid), it’s extremely manageable. Because so many people have it, you’re almost assuredly going to find some sort of remedy that works best for you. Make sure you set up an appointment with your doctor or your dermatologist, so that you can figure out what type of eczema you have, and more importantly, start feeling better right away. Using things like over the counter remedies, prescription medications, immunosuppressants, and natural treatments, you can make sure your skin feels and looks healthy and gorgeous – just like you!
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