While children are more prone to eczema, it can strike at any age. Eczema is a common condition that produces dry, red, itchy skin. Katie Marks-Cogan, MD, FACAAI, and Raffi Tachdjian, MD, MPH, FAAAAI, of Clear Allergy offer on-site allergy testing and comprehensive treatments, including immunotherapy and biologics, to restore your skin’s health. Call the office in Culver City, California, or request an appointment online to take the first step toward eczema relief.
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation on the surface of the skin, resulting in dry, itchy patches. Often, eczema patches develop on the inside your elbows and behind your knees, but they can affect any area of your skin.
As the condition worsens, the affected skin may have small bumps that leak fluid, and thicker scaly patches that are dry and cracked.
The exact cause of eczema isn’t completely clear, but many factors may play a role, including allergies, faulty immune function, and skin defects that cause the protective barriers in the skin to break down. Eczema can be triggered by a number of irritants, including soaps, laundry detergent, bacteria, dust mites, pollen, and animal dander.
Some people with eczema can also have contact dermatitis, a condition that triggers the same type of skin symptoms as eczema when you make contact with a known allergen, such as poison ivy. You may be more prone to eczema if you have allergies, hay fever, or asthma.
Eczema usually starts before the age of five, and it may persist through adulthood. Symptoms can worsen during flare-ups or go into a remission that can last for several weeks or years.
To confirm a diagnosis of eczema and better understand what’s triggering your condition, Dr. Marks-Cogan and Dr. Tachdjian will perform a detailed history and physical exam. They may also perform allergy skin testing to evaluate for eczema triggers.
After a visual exam of your affected skin, they perform a skin test, which involves pricking your skin with a small needle and placing a drop of a potential allergen. They monitor the response to your skin when exposed to certain substances.
If you have contact dermatitis, the doctors may request patch testing that exposes your skin to a variety of chemicals to determine how you react.
You will receive skin care education to ensure you’re taking good care of your skin at home to help to clear your eczema, including using topical moisturizers and prescription topicals if needed.
They may recommend immunotherapy as a possible treatment. Immunotherapy involves the injection of small amounts of environmental allergens over a period of time. Injections help desensitize your body to your specific allergens, reducing the overreaction of your immune system.
Dr. Marks-Cogan and Dr. Tachdjian also offer medications, known as biologics, to treat atopic dermatitis. These medications are made of proteins and substances found in nature instead of chemicals. They work by targeting specific molecules that react to inflammation caused by eczema.
Learn more about treatments available for eczema by calling the office or requesting an appointment using the online booking feature.