Have you or your child suffered from extremely dry, itchy, and sensitive skin, or oozing, red, and scaly rashes? The itch associated with eczema can be severe and often interrupts sleep, significantly affecting the quality of life of those suffering from this condition. At Avant Allergy in Los Angeles, California, Sandra A. Ho, MD is a double board-certified allergist who can diagnose and customize a treatment plan to manage your eczema.
What is eczema?
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition resulting from a defect in the skin barrier that causes difficulty in maintaining moisture. This condition most commonly shows up in children under the age of 5. Most children will outgrow eczema. For those who do not, eczema can continue to be a significant problem in adulthood.
What are the symptoms of atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis often manifests as severe itching, redness, oozing, scaly rashes, and in some cases bacterial skin infections. Individuals with eczema have extremely dry and sensitive skin and often experience intermittent oozing flare-ups that can affect skin all over the body.
What causes eczema?
Different allergic and non-allergic exposures can exacerbate eczema. These triggers include environmental allergens such as pet dander and dust mites, common food allergens such as peanut, egg, and milk, and other agents such as soaps, cosmetics, fragrances, and even stress. At Avant Allergy, Dr. Ho can work with you to identify these triggers through food and environmental allergy skin prick testing or patch testing.
How is it treated?
The extreme irritation and pain associated with this skin condition can often be debilitating. If you or your child is suffering from eczema, your condition can be managed with the guidance of Dr. Ho who will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Since atopic dermatitis is associated with the development of food and environmental allergies, at Avant Allergy, Dr. Ho may perform skin prick testing to identify your allergic triggers, or patch testing to determine common chemical or contact allergens. Different treatment options include limiting exposure to these triggers in order to mitigate eczema flare-ups, and prescription medication such as topical steroids and/or antihistamines. For moderate or severe atopic dermatitis, immunotherapy or injectable medications are other options to consider.