Eczema causes and treatment options explained

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Eczema causes and treatment options explained
Eczema is incredibly common, affecting an estimated 15 million Americans. While it tends to affect infants and children more than adults, it can affect anyone at any age, causing dry, itchy, red, and/or bumpy skin. At Dermatology Specialists of Illinois, we work closely with patients in the Algonquin, Illinois area to manage their eczema so they can get back to enjoying their daily lives.

What causes eczema?

Eczema is a broad term that encompasses many different types of rashes, including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, and more. However, atopic dermatitis is the condition that people most commonly have when we are talking about eczema. While the underlying causes of eczema are not fully understood, it is likely due to a combination of environmental triggers, genetics, and immune system responses. Certain triggers can cause a person’s eczema to flare up, and while each person’s triggers are different, they may include:

  • Stress
  • Environmental irritants such as soap, pollution, harsh skin products, and tobacco smoke
  • Cold, dry air (this is common in our Chicago winter months!)
  • Allergens such as pollen, foods, and pet hair or dander
  • Skin infections with staph bacteria

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Treating eczema

Eczema does not have a cure, but it is possible to manage the condition. Our dermatology team works with you to identify potential triggers, such as allergens that you may be unaware of. Depending on the specific type of eczema and symptoms that you have, we may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
  • Lifestyle modifications to reduce your eczema triggers
  • Topical moisturizers to help retain hydration in the skin
  • Antihistamines to reduce itching and manage allergy symptoms
  • Corticosteroids or hydrocortisone, which help reduce inflammation in more severe cases
  • Antibiotics to treat any associated infection, which may occur if the skin becomes broken
  • Light therapies to minimize itching and inflammation
  • Systemic medications or biologic treatments
It may be necessary to try a few different approaches before identifying the right combination of treatments for your specific needs. Our team will work closely with you to develop your personalized approach to managing eczema so you can regain your quality of life. To schedule your appointment, call us at (844) 307-7546. We have three convenient locations in Algonquin, Woodstock, and Lake Barrington, so we are never far from work or home.

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