Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology & Allergists located in Dallas, TX & Plano, TX
The itchy rash caused by atopic dermatitis (eczema) affects more than 18 million Americans, often first appearing in young children, then continuing through their adult years. Richard Herrscher, MD, and Maryam Saifi, MD, at AIR Care specialize in developing a long-term treatment that relieves your symptoms and prevents future flare-ups. To get exceptional care for atopic dermatitis, call one of the offices in Dallas or Plano, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
Eczema Q & A
What is atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that typically appears before the age of five, then persists into adulthood. Healthy skin is protected by a barrier that holds in moisture and blocks bacteria and allergens.
Scientists identified a gene variation in patients with atopic dermatitis that weakens the skin barrier, making them more susceptible to dry skin and infections.
What symptoms develop due to atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis is known for causing a red, itchy rash, but you may develop other symptoms, too. Your skin may become swollen, dry, and scaly, or you may have tiny bumps that ooze. It’s also common to develop patches of red or brownish skin and for the affected skin to become thick and scaly.
Symptoms can develop anywhere on your body. However, atopic dermatitis usually appears on the cheeks, scalp, knees, and elbows of infants and children. Adults tend to get the rash on their wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, neck, and face.
What triggers atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis goes through cycles of remission followed by flares after your skin is exposed to a trigger. Dry skin frequently produces a flare-up, but other common triggers include:
Irritants: Soap, skin care products, nickel
Allergens: Pollen, pet dander, foods
Environmental: High or low humidity, heat
If you have allergies, your allergens are likely to be triggers.
How is atopic dermatitis treated?
Drs. Herrscher and Saifi develop a customized treatment plan designed to soothe your skin and prevent future flare-ups. Atopic dermatitis treatment includes:
Moisturizing your skin, even when it’s clear, is one of the best ways to restore and maintain the natural barrier. You’ll also need to be careful about the skin care products — some are too harsh and others contain irritating ingredients — and pay attention to details like using warm water rather than hot when you bathe.
Identifying and avoiding triggers
After strengthening the skin barrier, avoiding triggers is the best way to prevent flare-ups of your atopic dermatitis. If you have allergies, Drs. Herrscher and Saifi run allergy tests and may recommend immunotherapy to desensitize your immune system. Treating your allergies improves your atopic dermatitis.
Drs. Herrscher and Saifi may prescribe topical or oral medications to reduce inflammation.
If you develop a red, itchy rash, call AIR Care or schedule an appointment online.