What is Eczema?

Skin inflammation and a compromised skin barrier cause eczema or dermatitis, which results in extremely itchy, red, dry, and scaly skin. When severe, it may weep liquid, seem extremely angry and red, or form tiny water blisters. Long-lasting pruritus can cause the skin to thicken (lichenification) or develop small, irritating lumps, particularly on the limbs.

What are the causes of eczema?
Genetic susceptibility – Commonly runs in families and is associated with asthma and hay fever, called atopic eczema Allergy to certain agents – Some people develop allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) over time to some preservatives, hair dyes, perfumes, and other substances. Excessive exposure to irritants (detergents, soaps etc.) – excessive hand washing, or use of irritants causes dryness and inflammation, called irritant contact dermatitis.

How is eczema diagnosed?
Typically, clinically speaking, this entails looking at the skin. Rarely, a skin biopsy (sample of skin) may be necessary.

How is eczema treated?
Treatments offered at the clinic include, an in-depth discussion of the treatment choices will take place during your consultation:

● Creams – including moisturisers, steroid creams/ointments, and steroid-sparing creams.

● Antiseptics or antibiotics – if your skin looks infected.

● Antihistamines – to prevent disruption of your sleep

● Bandaging – Some bandages are medicated, which helps to calm the skin, lessen irritation, and keep the cream in place.

● Other options: A referral to the NHS will be suggested if more advanced therapies such as oral medicines or phototherapy are needed.