It’s the most wonderful time of the year…except for most patients with eczema. Eczema (or atopic dermatitis) is a skin condition marked by patches of red, itchy, and dry skin.   Skin folds (think inner arms and behind the knees) are most commonly affected, but one can also get patches on the face, hands, feet, or anywhere else on the body.  The itching leads to scratching the skin which then makes eczema patches thicker.  Several things can make eczema worse including sweating, allergens (both environmental and food), and the wintertime with its cold, dry air and heating systems.  The hallmark of eczema and its management is skin hygiene.  It is crucial to use unscented soaps and creams and to moisturize at least 1-2x a day.  Also, taking short showers with water that is not too hot is helpful for the skin.  Depending on the severity of the eczema, we can prescribe topical medications, oral medications, and/or injectable medications to help you feel better.

Author Ambka S. Ambka is a PA here at Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center of LI. She specializes in allergy and immunology conditions.

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