Medical Dermatology

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Eczema

Eczema is a chronic, superficial inflammation of the skin associated with redness and severe itching.

What causes it?

The cause is unknown; however, genetics appear to play a role. Approximately 5% of the US population is affected by eczema. It is often associated with a personal or family history of hay fever or asthma.


What can be done?

Treatment for eczema includes topical medications and antihistamines to reduce inflammation and itching. A mild skin care routine using Cetaphil or Cereve cleanser and moisturizing lotions is helpful in reducing dry skin conditions. Avoid perfumed soaps, harsh laundry detergents and fabric softeners.


On occasion, more aggressive therapy is required which might include oral or injectible steroids and/or antibiotics. A new class of “immunomodulators” is now available to treat eczema. These topical drugs are steroid-free, safe and are becoming more commonly used in all of our eczema patients.