If your skin has become red and inflamed, rough or scaly in parts, and terribly itchy, you might have a condition called eczema. The itchiness is the most common symptoms and the scratching that people do for relief can inflame the skin, starting what some refer to “itch-scratch cycle.” If you scratch so much that the skin bleeds, you could make eczema worse. But you can break the itch-scratch cycle.
As many as 30 million Americans have eczema, according to the National Eczema Association. Though it’s most common for babies and children, adults can develop it too. There are several forms of eczema, the most common of which is called atopic dermatitis. But regardless of the type of eczema, it’s important to note that this condition is not contagious — you can’t catch eczema, nor can you pass it on to someone else. The redness and inflammation characteristic of eczema is your body’s immune system response.
It’s not exactly clear why some people develop eczema and others do not. But the American Academy of Dermatology says that researchers believe that several factors play a role, including genes and the surrounding environment. The academy says that triggers for an eczema response include animal dander or saliva from a lick of the family dog; scratchy clothes; certain soaps or cleaning products; and even fruit juice.
There is no cure for eczema but there are ways to manage its symptoms. One way to manage the condition is to avoid the triggers that cause flare-ups. There are certain topical products that may offer relief, such as skin creams and moisturizers. But the way to find the most appropriate treatment for you is to get a professional medical evaluation. Allergy & Asthma Associates of Allen has helped many eczema patients break the itch-scratch cycle. If you think you have eczema or if you are looking for alternative ways to manage your eczema symptoms, please contact us for help.