Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by severe itching and scratching. Management is especially challenging because scratching causes further damage and inflammation, worsening the condition. Dr. Charles Song and Dr. Andrew Wong at the Song Institute of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology can help break that itching-and-scratching cycle and tailor your treatment plan to protect the long-term health of your skin. To learn more about treatment options for eczema, call the office in Manhattan Beach, California, or book an appointment online.
Eczema and atopic dermatitis are often used interchangeably. However, the term eczema actually refers to a group of chronic inflammatory skin conditions.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. It occurs most frequently in children, with 60% of cases appearing within the first year of life, but adults may also be affected, too. Atopic dermatitis is often associated with other allergic conditions, and it may be the first presenting condition of the “Atopic March,” which includes the progressive development of eczema, then asthma, and finally allergic rhinitis. The most effective treatment for eczema involves managing all of your allergic conditions.
Eczema causes dry skin and severe itching. The appearance of the skin can vary significantly depending on your age and the disease activity. More mild cases may present with patches of dry, scaly skin and small, pink bumps.
More severe flares of eczema may appear with red, fluid-filled blisters which can ooze and form a crust. Patients with chronic disease may develop dry, thickened and even cracked skin. In complicated cases of eczema, features of each stage may be present at the same time.
The typical locations of eczema can vary with age:
Eczema can flare in response to various triggers, including environmental elements, food allergens, direct contact with irritants, or even emotional stress.
Complications of eczema most commonly include bacterial or viral skin infections. Most bacterial skin infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus. The most concerning viral skin infection are caused by rapid spread of Herpes simplex. This requires prompt evaluation and treatment by a physician specialist.
Dr. Wong and Dr. Song take a multi-faceted and individualized approach to the treatment of eczema:
Moisture! Moisture! Moisture! Probably the most important concept in the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis is moisturization. Repairing the natural skin barrier can only be achieved by intense moisturization and skin protecting techniques.
The doctors perform a full diagnostic workup to identify your various triggers, and then create a plan to avoid them.
Your doctor at the Song Institute of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology may prescribe topical steroids or calcineurin inhibitors for mild to moderate flares of eczema. In rare and more severe cases, oral immunosuppressant medications may be necessary.
Dr. Wong and Dr. Song are at the forefront of eczema treatment options, and offer the newest available treatment options including crisaborole (Eucrisa®) and an injectable medication called dupilumab (Dupixent®).
Allergen immunotherapy has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of eczema in certain patients. It may be especially beneficial for severe cases of eczema that don’t respond to conventional treatment regimens.
It’s important to get expert care for eczema to prevent flares, so please call the Song Institute of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology or book an appointment online for an evaluation.