ECZEMA / DERMATITIS
Whether you call it eczema or dermatitis, itchy and inflamed skin is an unwanted and nasty skin disorder affecting people from all walks of life. Almost one in five children experience eczema before they are 2 years old and, although it usually improves with age, eczema is notoriously resistant. Dermatitis can manifest in several types of inflammatory conditions affecting the epidermis or outer layer of skin and the condition can be acute or chronic.
There are many types of dermatitis, but there are also many treatment paths that are available. Correctly identifying the condition is the job of a qualified dermatologist who can then prescribe the appropriate medication or suggest lifestyle modifications. Eczema is frustrating to live with, and Pymble Dermatology, a specialised and dedicated clinic that serves the Sydney region, has recently opened for business. If over the counter medications are ineffective, sleep and daily activities disturbed or the condition is worsening, a dermatology consultation is advised.
Eczema / Dermatitis types
Your dermatologist will help you understand your eczema/dermatitis type among the many varieties.
- Atopic Dermatitis: This itchy rash is common in children and usually diminishes with age, although it can be more persistent in extreme cases.
- Irritant contact dermatitis: Often due to frequent contact with water and chemicals that can cause the skin to dry out and become red and itchy, eg. Washing hands many times a day.
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis: This is a true allergy to chemicals and a patch test can help detect the source.
- Caused when skin reacts badly to contact with a material or substance. In some cases, a material or substance that was previously handled safely, can suddenly begin to react badly with the skin.
- Hand Dermatitis: Affecting the hands, often caused by exposure to chemicals in water and other liquids that strip the skin of its protective layer.
- Seborrhoeic Dermatitis: This scaly rash can be itchy and irritating. The variety known as dandruff is common, although it can also occur on other parts of the face and body.
Eczema / Dermatitis Treatments
Once your skin disorder is correctly diagnosed by an expert clinician at Pymble Dermatology, an appropriate treatment path can be established. Eczema symptoms range from mild to severe and there are a wide range of treatment options available. In some instances, lifestyle changes can greatly assist recovery.
If you are prone to eczema, the following may help relieve your skin and prevent flares.
- Stay in a cool, shaded area. Avoid hot, humid, dusty environments
- Do not do strenuous exercise especially when the eczema flares
- Wear loose, cotton clothing.
- Avoid frequent contact with chemicals and hot water. They irritate and dry the skin. Soap free or soap substitutes are recommended.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid scratching.
A Dermatologist from Pymble Dermatology will prescribe medicated creams, lotions or ointments best suited for you. Moisturisers are a must and are to be used even after the eczema has settled. If necessary, antibiotics, anti-itch tablets or other oral medications will be given as indicated.
Eczema is often likely to recur even many months later, so it is best to understand your skin. Know what aggravates it and avoid the flare factors. You need to know what makes it better and instil it in your daily regime. Know your medications well and be vigilant with the treatment plan outlined by our doctor. Our doctor will help and advise if you are unsure.
Eczema/Dermatitis can be a long-term problem requiring ongoing treatment. Dermatologists in Pymble Dermatology are highly skilled and experienced in identifying skin problems, and qualified to prescribe medications, when over the counter products don’t work. As with all medical conditions, the fastest road to recovery involves a consultation, diagnosis, understanding your disease well and prescription tailored to your personal requirements.