Also known as eczema, this common itchy and often chronic condition usually presents in infancy and childhood but can affect any age.
It is associated with ‘allergic’ type conditions such as asthma and hay fever. It has a genetic tendency but other factors such as allergens and irritants in the environment are thought to play a role as well. It is most likely related to a complex set of interactions between a defective skin barrier and the immune system. Each year we are learning more and more about the interaction between genetic, environmental and immune related factors that cause the condition which has lead to new treatment options.
Most cases are treated with appropriate soap free products, maintaining hydration of the skin and sometimes topical corticosteroids. The aim is to maintain an intact skin barrier to keep irritants out of the deeper layers.
Other treatments include topical calineurin inhibitors, antibiotics, antihistamines and systemic agents in severe cases which work to dampen the immune response. There are new agents becoming available which target a specific step in the complex immune mediated process which leads to severe atopic dermatitis.
Eczema can be effectively controlled with practical advice and treatment provided by your dermatologist at Cordelia Dermatology. Priority appointments are available for infants with severe eczema.