Have you ever noticed that your skin feels drier in the winter than during other seasons? If this dry skin is more than a mild inconvenience and instead has become inflamed and itchy, you may have the skin condition known as Eczema.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is an atopic dermatitis. That is to say, Eczema is an allergic reaction to an environment that appears as a skin condition that affects  31.6% of the population . It most commonly presents itself as an inflamed rash which itches, usually on the arms or behind the knees, but it can appear anywhere on the body. Although it usually first appears in children  before the age of 5  with 1 in 10 children eventually being diagnosed with some form of Eczema, it is not unheard of for it to develop for the first time in adults, though this is not common. Some  other symptoms  that indicate you may have Eczema include:

  • Scaly patches of itchy skin that are thick, cracked, and dry
  • Severe itching
  • Red, raw, or sensitive skin
  • Small, swollen, cysts that leak and scab if scratched

What Causes Eczema?

Eczema is the result of an allergic reaction to allergens in the environment to which your body is overly sensitive to. People with Eczema often suffer from Asthma or Hay Fever as well.  Certain foods  are known to trigger an Eczema flare-up such as:

  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Dairy Products
  • Eggs
  • Soy products
  • Wheat

While the exact cause of Eczema still remains unknown, these factors, as well as genetic markers, are the leading suspects in the development of Eczema. The good news is that it is not a contagious disease.

Eczema is also triggered by stress and extreme temperatures, which is why it may appear worse in the winter and summer. Humidity levels can also play a part in Eczema flare-ups as can hormonal levels in women.

How Can I Treat This?

While there is no known cure for Eczema, the symptoms can be easily managed. The best thing to do would be to get yourself an appointment with an allergist to determine the proper treatment for your skin but staying hydrated and moisturizing your skin are great tricks for treating minor flare-ups on your own. Your allergist can help you figure out if you need medication and if so whether it should be:

  • Steroid
  • Antihistamine
  • Topical Antiseptic

An Allergist Can Help with Eczema

Allergy symptoms can make you miserable and impact the quality of your life. They can also be challenging to diagnose and treat. If you feel that you are suffering from the symptoms of eczema, and are ready to discover relief, contact The Allergy Group. Our board-certified allergists will review your symptoms, discuss your medical history, perform an exam, and conduct testing to diagnose the underlying cause. We will then utilize this information to educate you on how to treat, reduce, and if possible, eliminate a recurrence. Medication may be prescribed on an as-needed basis or for seasonal use only. To schedule an appointment, call The Allergy Group today at (208) 377-4000 or submit a contact form.

Our team of board-certified physicians and medical professionals are experts in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology. Our doctors and physician assistant have backgrounds in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. The Allergy Group has clinics located in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Eagle, and Caldwell. We are committed to caring for patients in Treasure Valley and beyond.