Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a common skin condition that mostly affects children. It is often referred to as eczema, but some people do call it atopic eczema or even just dermatitis. When you have atopic dermatitis, our eczema doctor in NYC can help you achieve relief. While there is no cure for eczema, most patients benefit and experience manageability of their symptoms through treatment. Over thirty million Americans are affected by eczema, and many people suffer from embarrassment and discomfort due to the skin irritation associated with atopic dermatitis. At Sutton Place Dermatology, our eczema doctors value your health and comfort, and our dermatologists can manage your eczema symptoms with the most effective treatment options available.

What is atopic dermatitis?

Eczema is the formation of an itchy, dry rash on the skin that is often irritated due to inflammation. Patients tend to have eczema occur on the neck, wrists, knees, or elbows, but these patches of itchy skin can occur anywhere on the body. Atopic dermatitis has a cycle that begins with the release of inflammatory chemicals. After the release of these chemicals, you will naturally react to an itch by scratching it. Due to scratching your itch, you damage your skin further, which results in even more inflammatory chemicals being released. This process results in the intense itching of eczema.

Eczema is easily diagnosable and usually can be confirmed with a visual evaluation of your skin. While atopic dermatitis symptoms lessen with age, many patients may still experience the intense itching and discomfort associated with eczema later into their lives. Atopic dermatitis can even be irritated by certain soaps, detergents, and personal hygiene products.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:

  • Intense itching (can be worse at night)
  • Small, raised bumps on the skin
  • Raw, swollen, or inflamed skin
  • Dry, cracking, textured skin
  • Red, pink, or brown patches of skin

What eczema treatment options are available?

Atopic dermatitis treatment options include oral medications, topical creams, and light therapy. Our eczema doctor in NYC can help choose the best therapy for you depending on the severity of your case and any previous eczema treatments you may have undergone. Taking into account many facets of your health like medical history, allergies, and your individual case of atopic dermatitis, our dermatologists can help you create an eczema treatment that best soothes and manages your symptoms.

Oral medications such as steroids may be suggested if your case of eczema is severe or does not respond to topical eczema treatments. Oral medications are highly effective and can help soothe your eczema flare-ups and put an end to the cycle of discomfort and itching.

Topical agents such as a hydrocortisone cream or ointment may be prescribed for a more mild case of eczema. If you are suffering from a more severe case of atopic dermatitis and hydrocortisone cream is not helping, a prescription-strength steroid cream may be prescribed to help ease the discomfort of eczema. Eczema can also be managed through the use of antihistamine creams or ointments, which can help soothe and treat the irritated and inflamed skin on and surrounding an eczema outbreak. If all other topical agents fail, a corticosteroid may be suggested to help manage your symptoms.

Can laser light therapy cure eczema?

The use of ultraviolet light in eczema light therapy can help manage the symptoms and itching of eczema. The use of ultraviolet light can help suppress the hyperactive skin cells that cause the inflammation and irritation associated with eczema. The main benefit of light therapy as an eczema treatment is that it is often successful when other eczema treatments have failed. Light therapy uses ultraviolet light to reduce the cells that cause eczema, and light therapy helps to manage eczema symptoms and lessen the intense itching that is associated with atopic dermatitis.

How can I learn more about eczema treatments?

Our dermatologists would be glad to discuss eczema treatments with you. To request a personal consultation with our dermatologists to discuss eczema treatments, please request an appointment online or call 212.838.0270.

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