Medical Conditions

Eczema & Skin Rashes

Eczema

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is characterized by chronically dry, scaly, and itchy skin. It most commonly affects the creases of the elbows or knees, but may be widespread. About ninety percent of cases begin in early childhood, with more than half of patients continuing to have symptoms as adults. Many patients also have asthma and seasonal allergies. There is no cure for eczema, but your provider can help manage your eczema to improve the condition of your skin, control infection, and relieve your discomfort.

Skin Rashes

Contact Dermatitis causes rashes in response to an irritant or an allergic reaction. Soaps and cleansers, foods, skin products, even water, can cause red, itchy skin. Some exposures, for example, to poison ivy, Neosporin®, makeup, jewelry, or latex gloves, may lead to an allergic reaction, such as hives or a blistery rash. To find the cause, your provider will need to review your medical history and conduct a thorough examination. Skin patch testing can also be helpful in diagnosing potential causes.

Hives (urticaria) are itchy, transient welts on your skin. They may be acute (lasting less than six weeks) or chronic. There are numerous causes for hives, including allergies, infection, illness, sun, exercise, stress, and pressure.

Pityriasis Rosea often begins with one large scaly patch. Within a week or two, numerous smaller patches appear on your trunk and upper arms, legs, and, in rare cases, the face. Typically, itching is mild and your provider can treat it with topical steroids. The rash generally resolves on its own in about six to eight weeks and does not generally recur. The cause is unknown, but may be viral in nature.

Scabies can affect people of all ages. Caused by a reaction to a mite, it typically affects your hands, wrists, and covered skin. Scabies causes intense itching and scratching can result in open sores or skin infections. Your provider can treat scabies with topical and/or oral medications. Scabies is contagious, so you, and anyone you’ve been near, should seek medical treatment.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common condition that causes reddish, waxy patches. The rash is often seen in infants (cradle cap). In adults, it typically appears on your scalp, mid face (in skin folds), ­ears, and mid chest in males. When present in adults, intermittent flare ups are common. Your provider can treat this condition, and improve its appearance, with a variety of topical medications.