What is Eczema?
Scientifically known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is the cause of a variety of skin issues, from itching and redness to blistering and discoloration. The wide variety of symptoms can make it difficult to self-diagnose, leading people to just deal with the nuisance whenever it crops up.
By becoming familiar with these seven signs of eczema—especially those you wouldn’t expect—people suffering from this disruptive disorder find help from a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Krant in New York City.
1. You Have Allergies or Asthma
As part of the atopic triad, eczema is often associated with seasonal allergies and asthma. In fact, people often confuse eczema with an allergic reaction or similar skin condition, such as psoriasis. If you know you have allergies or are asthmatic, you are more likely to experience eczema.
2. You Have Rashes Around the Joints
Eczema differentiates itself in one key way: it likes to hang out in so-called flexural areas, in the skin of your inner elbows, behind the knees, wrists, and other joints. If you notice rashes, itchiness, or discoloration forming in these areas, especially after certain triggers, it may be eczema.
3. Symptoms Are Worse in Warm and Cold Weather
There are many triggers of eczema, including excessive sweating and hot temperatures as well as winter cold and dry air combined with hot winter showers. This one-two punch both ways can cause flareups as the weather turns warm *or* cold. People with eczema can have skin patches that are sensitive to the hot sun or become noticeably itchy more often during the summer months, and also have eczema that only flares in winter with the lack of humidity in the air.
4. You Have Some Puffy Areas
Although usually thought of as red, dry, and/or scaly skin, eczema is also associated with swelling due to inflammation when the eczema is particularly bad, often caused by excessive scratching at itchy patches of skin.
5. You Have Crusty Skin From Skin Bumps
In some cases of eczema, small bumps form on the skin that leak fluid and crust over when scratched. When symptoms such as these don’t clear up, or become inflamed or infected, it’s best to see a dermatologist, who can clarify the exact diagnosis and prescribe medical strength treatments to clear up your skin.
6. Your Skin Looks Dark Instead of Red
Eczema doesn’t always present as the red rash commonly associated with the condition. In different skin types, inflamed rashes can appear more pigmented. The same inflammation and redness is there underneath, but after a while, that acute inflammation damages the skin and can create patches that appear dark brown or gray in addition.
7. You Recently Switched Scents Or Soaps
The chemicals in certain soaps, detergents, and even perfumes can cause skin irritation and eczema flareups. If you notice symptoms developing after doing laundry or taking a shower with a new body cleanser, this could be a sign that your products are the cause of your troubles. Irritant dermatitis is different from allergic dermatitis in that irritant chemicals bother everyone, while allergic triggers only bother those truly allergic.
Eczema Treatment in New York, NY
Experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular or annual basis? It could be atopic dermatitis, which can be treated and mitigated with a high-quality skincare regimen. For expert advice on skincare products, healthy lifestyle choices, and wellness routines for holistic dermatology care both inside and out, Dr. Jessica Krant is here to help. Schedule a consultation by calling or contacting Art of Dermatology online.