Common Signs and Symptoms
Atopic dermatitis can manifest in a variety of ways, and its symptoms may vary from person to person. However, some common signs and symptoms include:
- Rash: A red or brownish rash most commonly on the face, hands, feet, behind the knees and elbows, or ankles.
- Itchy Skin: Intense itching is a hallmark of eczema. The itch can be severe, leading to discomfort and loss of sleep.
- Redness and Inflammation: Affected skin often appears red and inflamed due to the body’s immune response.
- Compromised skin barrier due to dry skin or scratching: Eczema can cause skin to become dry, scaly, and prone to cracking that leads to the never-ending and vicious “itch-scratch” cycle.
- Blisters and Oozing: In severe cases, eczema can cause blisters and oozing of clear fluid, which can lead to crusting and infection.
- Thickened Skin: Over time, chronic scratching can lead to thickened skin, known as lichenification.
Causes and Triggers
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not fully understood, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic, immune system, and environmental factors. Some common triggers and risk factors include:
- Genetics: A family history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever can increase the likelihood of developing atopic dermatitis.
- Immune System Dysfunction: An overactive immune system may play a role in the development of eczema by contributing to increased inflammation that leads to characteristic itching and redness.
- Allergies and sensitivities: Allergic reactions to certain substances, such as pollen, pet dander, or certain foods can trigger or even exacerbate eczema symptoms.
- Irritants: Harsh soaps, detergents, fragrances, and other irritants can cause and even worsen eczema.
- Weather: Dry or cold climates can lead to drier skin, which may trigger or worsen eczema.
- Stress: Emotional stress can exacerbate symptoms or cause flare-ups in some individuals.
Management and Treatment
While there is no cure for atopic dermatitis, several strategies can help manage and alleviate its symptoms:
- Trigger Avoidance: Identifying and avoiding allergens, irritants, and triggers that worsen your eczema symptoms.
- Emollients and Moisturizers to restore skin barrier: Regularly applying moisturizers and emollients can help keep the skin hydrated and reduce itching and dryness that leads to scratching.
- Lifestyle Adjustments: Managing stress, maintaining a healthy diet, and keeping the skin clean are important aspects of eczema care.
- Steroidal creams and ointments: Over-the-counter or prescribed topical corticosteroids are commonly recommended to reduce inflammation and itching during flare-ups.
- Prescription Medications: In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe oral or injectable medications, such as immunosuppressants or biologics.
No matter how severe of a symptom you are experiencing, Dr. Wali will help you to find the underlying cause of your symptoms and will help you take necessary steps to restore your skin health with our effective personalized health plan.
Our Treatment program is created to address each individual patient’s needs. We recognize that each patient has a unique set of risk factors based on his/her family history, diet and lifestyle, past medical history, and other current medical conditions for which he/she is undergoing treatment.
Our Personalized Health Plan includes:
- Comprehensive Health Intake by a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor specializing in natural
- Physical Exam
- Laboratory Tests
- Customized Treatment and Prevention Plan
- Continual monitoring and evaluation of symptoms
Holistic Treatment and Prevention Plan
Depending on your symptoms and laboratory results, our plan will involve natural and holistic treatments without the use of steroidal or Biologics. Our approach to treating Atopic Dermatitis involves:
- Diet and Lifestyle: Through our experience, we have found that supporting the body naturally with diet and lifestyle modifications, and nutritional supplementation can significantly improve skin health from the inside out.
- Topical Treatments: We utilize few topical (non-steroidal) natural and herbal therapies that we have found effective for treatment of atopic dermatitis in children and adults.
- Dietary Supplements: Dietary supplements may be recommended to help treat your skin condition from the inside out.
We have found that many patients are able to successfully control their rash with lifestyle and recommended natural treatments without the use of steroidal creams or biologics.
If you or a loved one is affected by eczema, call our office to start your journey to healthier skin!