ECZEMA

WHAT IS ECZEMA?

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that affects about 15 million people in the U.S., including 10-20 percent of all infants. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin.

WHAT TRIGGERS ECZEMA?

Objects and conditions that trigger itchy eczema outbreaks may include rough or coarse materials touching the skin, excessive heat or sweating, soaps, detergents, disinfectants, fruit and meat juices, dust mites, animal saliva and dander, upper respiratory infections and stress.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS FOR ECZEMA?

Treatment involves the restriction of scratching, use of moisturizing lotions or creams, cold compresses and nonprescription anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams and ointments. If this proves insufficient, physicians may prescribe corticosteroid medication, antibiotics to combat infection, or sedative antihistamines. For severe cases phototherapy or an injectable medication may be recommended. Phototherapy is a procedure that uses light to reduce itching.

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