About Eczema and Atopic Dermatitsis:
The terms “eczema” or “dermatitis” are used to describe a group of skin conditions characterized by inflamed skin. Eczema can be red, blistering, oozing, scaly, brownish, or thickened and usually itches.
Atopic eczema is very common in all parts of the world. It affects about 10% of infants and 3% of the total population in North America. Atopic eczema can occur at any age but is most common in infants to young adults. The skin rash is very itchy and can be widespread, or limited to a few areas. The condition frequently improves with adolescence, but many patients are affected by atopic eczema throughout life, although not as severely as in early childhood.
When the disease starts in infancy, it is called infantile eczema. This is an itchy, oozing, crusting rash and occurs mainly on the face and scalp, but patches can appear anywhere. Because of the itch, children may rub their head, cheeks, and other patches with a hand, a pillow, or anything within reach. In many cases children eczema disappears before two years of age. Proper treatment can help until time solves the problem.
Eczema in Later Life:
In teens and young adults, the patches of eczema typically occur on the hands and feet. However, any area such as the bends of the elbows, backs of the knees, ankles, wrists, face, neck, and upper chest may be affected. When eczema appears on the palms, backs of the hands, fingers, or on the feet, there can be episodes of crusting and oozing.
Other eczema patches in this stage are typically dry, red to brownish-gray, and may be scaly or thickened. The thickened areas may last for years without treatment. The intense, almost unbearable itching can continue, and may be most noticeable at night. Some patients scratch the skin until it bleeds and crusts. When this occurs, the skin can get infected.
Since the eczema does not always follow the same pattern, proper, early, and regular treatment can bring relief and may reduce the severity and duration of the disease.
Rejuvenation Laser Dermatology is Calgary’s premiere clinic in the management of eczema. Our dermatologist and estheticians can offer both a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis of your skin, and also discuss all the treatment options including: moisturizer selection, discussion of clothing choices, humidifiers, and other behaviours that affect skin hydration, and medical grade skin products exclusive to our clinic. In some cases prescription creams are required and occasionally pills to treat itch or infection; in other cases, our dermatology clinic provides Alberta Health Care covered phototherapy to treat widespread or poorly controlled eczema.
If you are seeking treatment for your eczema and want to book an appointment with our dermatologist, Dr. Paul Kuzel, please visit your family doctor and request a Rapid Access referral to Rejuvenation Laser Dermatology.
Treatments solutions for Eczema may include:
- Prescription creams
- Topical medications
- Medical grade skin care products
- UV Light phototherapy