Eczema/Atopic Dermatitis Specialist

Wasatch Allergy and Asthma

Allergists located in Salt Lake City, UT & Riverton, UT

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a common skin problem that causes dry, itchy skin. If you or your child has eczema and you can’t stop scratching, the experts at Wasatch Allergy and Asthma can help. Allergist Eric Chenworth, DO, leads the team of eczema and allergy specialists at their offices in Salt Lake City and Riverton, Utah. Together they have the expertise to help minimize and relieve the effects of eczema. Learn how to manage eczema and improve your quality of life by calling the office or requesting an appointment online today.

Eczema/Atopic Dermatitis

What is eczema?

Eczema, which is also known as atopic dermatitis, is an allergic skin condition that causes dryness and itching. Scratching your itchy skin makes it thicken and redden. People who have eczema often have asthma, hay fever, or food allergies, as well.

Symptoms of eczema tend to go in cycles, flaring up at times and then going away for a while. It’s a chronic condition that commonly begins in childhood but can develop at any age. Eczema may leave you vulnerable to bacterial, fungal, viral, and yeast infections.

What causes eczema?

Eczema develops when you have a leaking skin barrier. Your skin is designed to let sweat out and prevent water from getting in, but in some people, water can leak out of the skin, which makes it dry and itchy.

You can inherit leaky skin, or it might develop because of environmental factors. If you inherit leaky skin, it’s because of the Filaggrin gene, which is faulty in around one-third of people who are of North European or Eastern Asian descent.

Eczema flare-ups are caused by exposure to certain substances, including:

  • Soaps
  • Detergents
  • Dust mites
  • Pollens
  • Animal dander

Some people find that certain foods can make their atopic dermatitis worse. Proteases in certain bacteria can also damage the links that exist between your skin cells, leading to leaky skin. 

How is eczema treated?

An important part of treating eczema is avoiding possible triggers. You might have to avoid certain materials and stay away from anything that could irritate your skin.

You should wear clothes that don’t make you itch, and always wash new clothes before wearing them using a gentle, hypoallergenic laundry soap.

Use a sunscreen that has protection from ultraviolet rays. Look for products that are at least SPF15, with UV-A and UV-B protection. You should also rinse off if you’ve been swimming to remove any chemicals that could aggravate your skin.

Try to keep your fingernails short, too, to help minimize skin damage from scratching.

Creams and moisturizers can help your skin to form a better barrier against leaks and help soothe the itching and inflammation. Your provider at Wasatch Allergy and Asthma can also prescribe other treatments, such as:

  • Topical steroids or immunomodulators
  • Wet wrap therapy
  • Sedative antihistamines
  • Antibiotics for skin infections
  • Very dilute bleach baths
  • Stress reduction
  • Biofeedback
  • Vitamin D supplements
  • Biologic medications
  • Allergy shots

Your provider creates a personalized care plan for you that includes the most effective treatments for your eczema and any complications you might have. With their help, you can keep your eczema under control and lead an active, comfortable life.

Call Wasatch Allergy and Asthma today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment online.