Blog/Do I have Eczema? Signs your skin is telling you.
5/22/2023 | 2 min read

Do I have Eczema? Signs your skin is telling you.

Understanding the causes, symptoms and treatment

image of male hand with red, irritated eczema rash (dermatitis)

As the seasons change and the weather transitions, you might start to notice patches of itchy, red and dry skin. Annoying, right?!

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Its symptoms can vary from mild to severe, causing discomfort and impacting the quality of life for those affected. 

We'll explore how to recognize the signs of eczema, understand its causes and learn about effective treatment options. By gaining a deeper understanding of eczema, you can take the necessary steps to manage and alleviate its symptoms for better skin health and overall well-being. 

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by dry, itchy and inflamed patches of skin. It can affect individuals of all ages, but it often starts in childhood and may persist into adulthood. Eczema can also show up anywhere on the body and is most commonly found behind the knees, on the hands and scalp or around the eyes and nose. While the exact cause of eczema remains unknown, it is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Causes of Eczema

Several factors can contribute to the development of eczema, including:

  1. Genetics: People with a family history of eczema, asthma or allergies are more likely to develop the condition.

  2. Immune system dysfunction: Eczema is associated with an overactive immune response, where the immune system reacts to certain triggers and causes inflammation in the skin.

  3. Environmental factors: Irritants such as harsh soaps, detergents, certain fabrics, allergens (like dust mites, pollen and pet dander) and extreme weather conditions can trigger eczema flare-ups.

Identifying Eczema Symptoms

Recognizing the symptoms of eczema is crucial for an accurate diagnosis. The most common symptoms include:

  1. Dry skin: Eczema often begins with dry skin that may be itchy and prone to cracking or flaking.

  2. Itching: Persistent itching is a hallmark symptom of eczema. Scratching can worsen the condition, leading to skin redness and inflammation.

  3. Rash: Eczema rashes typically appear as red, inflamed patches of skin. These patches may be scaly, rough or oozing in severe cases.

  4. Skin discoloration: Eczema can cause changes in skin color, leading to lightening or darkening of affected areas.

  5. Thickened skin: Over time, chronic scratching and inflammation can lead to thickened and leathery skin.

Eczema Treatment Options

While there is no cure for eczema, various treatment approaches can help manage its symptoms effectively:

  1. Moisturizers: Regularly applying hypoallergenic moisturizers helps hydrate the skin, reducing dryness and itching.

  2. Topical corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory creams or ointments are commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation and relieve itching during flare-ups.

  3. Antihistamines: Oral antihistamines can help alleviate itching and aid in promoting better sleep.

  4. Immunosuppressants: In severe cases, doctors may prescribe oral or injectable medications to suppress the immune system and manage symptoms.

  5. Avoiding triggers: Identifying and avoiding triggers specific to an individual can help prevent or minimize flare-ups. This may include allergens, irritants or certain food items.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of eczema is the first step towards effective management and treatment. If you suspect you have eczema, consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. By understanding the causes and triggers of eczema, you can make necessary lifestyle adjustments and adopt appropriate skincare practices to minimize flare

How can Agile help with common conditions?

At Agile, we believe everyone should have access to excellent healthcare, regardless of where you are or when you need it. We offer convenient, virtual care across the U.S. for your most common medical conditions. Our network of providers are ready to address your unique concerns to deliver effective, personalized treatment in a timely manner. 

To tap into fast, cost-effective care now, schedule a consultation with one of our licensed clinicians!