Eczema | Atopic Dermititis
Eczema (Atopic Dermititis) Treatment from St. Louis Allergists
Eczema is the most common skin condition diagnosed in our St. Louis allergy clinic, especially in children. Eczema affects one in five infants but only around one in fifty adults. We offer diagnosis and complete allergy treatment services to people of all ages who are suffering from eczema in the St. Louis area.
Eczema is a skin condition that may or may not be related to an allergy; our St. Louis allergist will determine the exact cause of your skin irritation in order to determine the appropriate treatment. Eczema is now thought to be due to “leakiness” of the skin barrier, which causes the skin to dry out and become prone to irritation and inflammation by many environmental factors. Some people in St. Louis have a food sensitivity which can make eczema symptoms worse. In about half of patients with severe atopic dermatitis, the disease is due to inheritance of a faulty gene in their skin called filaggrin.
Unlike with urticaria (hives), the itch of eczema is not caused by histamine so antihistamines are not prescribed as an allergy treatment because they do not control the symptoms. Eczema is often linked with asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or food allergy. This order of progression is called the atopic march. A large percentage of St. Louis residents suffer from asthma and may not be aware their skin condition is linked to asthma until it is diagnosed by an asthma doctor.
St. Louis Allergy Clinic: Symptoms of Eczema
Itchy, red or dry skin. It may “weep” or leak fluid that crusts over when scratched, which means that it is also infected. In infants, eczema often appears on the face. Children are prone to have the rash at the bends of the elbow joint, wrists, behind the knees and behind the ears. Adolescents and young adults typically have the rash in the same locations as children, as well as on the hands and feet. Patients with the faulty filaggrin gene often have hand eczema with excessive little lines on the skin of their palms. Our asthma and allergy clinic can provide treatment for minor to severe cases.
Diagnosis of Eczema
In many children we see in our St. Louis asthma clinic, the exact cause of the eczema is not clear and treatment depends on regular use of moisturizer and topical medicines to dampen down the inflammation. One such treatment that may be prescribed by an allergist in St. Louis is topical steroids. In children where the skin is oozing, crusting and painful, the primary trigger may be an infection that needs treatment with antibiotics.
Infants and young children with more severe eczema should be evaluated for food allergy. It’s important to see a St. Louis allergist for diagnosis and management. A dietitian may be asked to give input as well. Food allergies causing eczema are much less common in older children and adults. If you are suspected of having eczema that is caused by a food allergy, a confirmed diagnosis requires avoiding the trigger food for about four weeks with the help of a dietitian before doing a food challenge under the supervision of your St. Louis allergy doctor to confirm that the food was actually causing the flare.
Doctor in St. Louis for Eczema
Whether your eczema is mild or severe, our St. Louis allergy clinic will find the appropriate allergy treatment to give you relief. In some cases, the allergist will need to get to the bottom of the cause of your skin affliction; in other cases, we may be able to offer effective treatment without any testing. As experienced allergists in St. Louis, our clinicians have seen countless cases of eczema in patients of all ages. Call today to schedule your appointment, the first step toward allergy and asthma help in St. Louis.
Adapted from: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/skin-allergy.aspx