What is Atopic Dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a condition that causes the skin to become red and itchy. While it is common in children, it can occur at any age. It is a chronic condition, meaning that it is long-lasting, and can flare up periodically. This condition usually begins in infancy or early before childhood, and may persist into adulthood.
Common signs and symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry, itchy skin
- Small, raised bumps that may leak fluid and crust over
- Red or brown-gray patches of skin, especially on the face and scalp in infants, and hands, feet, ankles, neck, wrists, upper chest, eyelids, elbows, and knees in children
- Thick, scaly, cracked skin
- Raw, sensitive skin due to scratching
Who is a Good Candidate for Eczema Treatment?
If your child is experiencing eczema that negatively impacts their sleep or daily activities, has a skin infection, or continues to experience symptoms despite home remedies, you should contact our office today. A consultation with one of our skilled dermatologists is needed for proper assessment and treatment.
What to Expect During Eczema Treatment?
To successfully treat eczema, various treatments may be needed over months or years. Common treatment options include:
- Medicated creams: Corticosteroid creams or ointments, and topical calcineurin inhibitors and phosphodiesterase inhibitors, may be prescribed to help with symptoms, as well as normalize the immune system.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics may be prescribed if the skin has a secondary bacterial infection, open sores, or cracks.
- Phototherapy: A safe and useful therapy performed in our office for children with moderate-severe disease.
- Systemic Corticosteroids: For more severe cases of eczema, oral corticosteroids such as prednisone may be prescribed for bad flares.
- Immunosuppressive Therapy: Select children with severe disease may require therapy with methotrexate, cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil, or azathioprine.
- Biologic medication: Dupixent is a prescription medication and the first biologic approved to treat people *six years* of age and older with moderate-to-severe eczema that is not well controlled with prescription therapies used on the skin, or who cannot use topical therapies.
- JAK inhibitors: Opzelura cream (ruxolitinib), and Rinvoq (upadacitinib) are used to treat more advanced cases of atopic dermatitis in children 12 and older.
For infantile eczema (eczema in babies), treatment includes:
- Identifying and avoiding skin irritants.
- Avoiding extreme temperatures.
- Keeping the baby’s skin lubricated with emollients, bath oils, and ointments.
- Prescription medication or an oral antihistamine may be prescribed.
Following Eczema Treatment
Following eczema treatment, patients will see an improvement in the look and feel of their skin. While treatment may help with symptoms for a time, eczema can be stubborn, and flare-ups may occur in the future. Your dermatologist will provide you with specific instructions on how to properly care for the skin for the best outcomes. If your child is still bothered by their eczema following treatment, contact us regarding further options.
Schedule a Consultation
If your child is dealing with uncomfortable eczema, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our dermatologists. Our team of skilled dermatology specialists will take the time to properly assess your child’s skin for a diagnosis and effective treatment. HMGS Dermatology is South Jersey’s leading site for exceptional care of patients with eczema/atopic dermatitis.
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