Eczema is a skin condition in which the skin becomes red, dry and itchy. The skin can also flake, crust, blister, crack, and even bleed. Patients may suffer from a temporary episode, or they might develop chronic eczema.
No specific cure has been found for eczema, but a variety of methods are used to treat the symptoms. Common treatments include topically applied moisturizers and steroid creams, oral medications, and light therapy. Some of the moisturizers used to treat eczema are available over the counter. When these don’t work, the stronger treatments that require a doctor’s prescription are usually necessary.
While any medical doctor can treat eczema, patients suffering from the condition are frequently referred to a dermatologist or an immunologist. In some cases, patients may see both types of specialists. Dermatologists, who specialize in the skin, are highly qualified to treat the symptoms that eczema causes. Immunologists are often able to shed light on the underlying cause of the symptoms, as the condition is sometimes caused by an inconsistency between the immune system and skin.
Patients who have dry, itchy, and red skin that isn’t alleviated with over-the-counter moisturizers and doesn’t go away on its own should consult a physician. A doctor will be able to examine the irritated skin, determine whether it is, in fact, eczema, and prescribe a treatment if it is.
Seeing a doctor about a potential case of eczema takes about as long as any other doctor’s appointment. The examination of the skin is thorough, but it often doesn’t take too long to complete. After the examination is finished, and the doctor has recommended treatment, patients are usually free to go to their home, office, or school.
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