Eczema: What It Is, Why You May Have It, and Treatment Options


Updated: Jun 2

While eczema can be a frustrating condition, Oak Dermatology’s dermatologists in Itasca, Joliet, and Naperville can diagnose eczema and provide custom treatment options for adults and children.

What is Eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition we treat at Oak Dermatology, often presenting as itchy, flaky, skin. Affecting over 30 million Americans, eczema can present in adults, children, and even babies.

What Causes Eczema?

While the specific cause of eczema is unknown, the condition tends to present in patients with similar health conditions. For instance, individuals with allergies tend to have eczema. Individuals with eczema often have an over-active immune system; when an internal or external substance triggers the immune system, it produces an inflammatory response, resulting in itchy, rash-like symptoms on the skin. Additionally, environmental factors such as heat and humidity, certain detergents and soaps, scratchy clothing, smoke, and stress can trigger eczema symptoms.

How do I Know if I Have Eczema?

Eczema symptoms can differ from person to person, but consistently present as itchy skin. Other symptoms may include:

  • Dry Skin
  • Discolored Skin
  • Rash
  • Rough skin that appears as scaly patches
  • Blisters
  • Oozing or crusting

Patients with eczema may have one or several of these symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Oftentimes, eczema may be mistaken for psoriasis. A trained dermatologist’s eye will be able to spot the difference between these conditions.

Can Eczema be Cured?

While there is no cure for eczema, many custom treatment options are available at Oak Dermatology. Eczema treatment begins with a consultation and skin exam. Based on your provider’s findings, appropriate treatment options will be discussed. Eczema treatments at Oak Dermatology will vary based on symptoms and severity. Oftentimes, eczema treatment options may include:

  • Topical over-the-counter moisturizers
  • Antihistamines
  • Topical steroid creams and ointments
  • Topical non-steroidal creams and ointments (Elidel, Protopic, Eucrisa, Opzelura)
  • Injectable medications and pills

What Can I Do to Prevent my Eczema from Worsening?

There are important steps you can take to better manage your eczema symptoms. Avoiding common household irritants, such as soaps or detergents with chemical additives that dry out the skin, and using a humidifier in cold, dry, months can make eczema symptoms more manageable.

Treat Your Eczema with the Skincare Experts at Oak Dermatology

Looking for some relief for your eczema symptoms? Our dermatologists are ready to see you at one of our convenient locations in Itasca, Joliet, or Naperville. Because we believe your skin deserves prompt, expert attention, Oak Dermatology has the availability to see patients within a week. Contact us today to schedule your skin consultation or schedule online.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.