Q&A: Eczema

By Rosemarie Ingleton M.D., dermatologist and Eucerin Skin First Council member

Your biggest questions about eczema have been answered! Dermatologist and Eucerin Skin First Council member Rosemarie Ingleton responds to select Facebook inquiries from Oz viewers. Learn more about eczema.

Q&A: Eczema

Andie M. from Facebook asks: My biggest question is… Why does eczema occur?
Eczema is thought to be caused by a defect in the top layers of the skin which allows irritants to enter and cause inflammation, and it is also often passed on from generation to generation. Sometimes eczema shows up when you expose your skin to something that it is allergic to, either a product or food or environmental allergen.

Danielle H. from Facebook asks: Does scratching make it spread?
Scratching can cause eczema to worsen and also get infected. Germs under your fingernails or in your environment can get into the patches of eczema and set up an infection.

Jessica M. from Facebook asks: How can one tell if the itchiness and flakes from the scalp are a result of eczema or dandruff?
It is often times not easy to tell without medically trained eyes. With eczema, you will see some underlying redness in the area.

LaShawna G. from Facebook asks: My eczema moves to different parts of my body…. Why is that?
Eczema can affect various areas of the body, but is especially common in skin creases, on flexural surfaces like the folds behind the knees and in the elbow creases. There is no definitive explanation as to why it prefers certain areas. It can migrate because of scratching.

Robin K. from Facebook asks: My son's eczema seems to be seasonal. Is that common?
Eczema is often seasonal, and is often worse in the winter and early spring when skin is dry. For some people, eczema may be worse during allergy season. When environmental allergens are prevalent, their eczema flares in response to their exposure to the allergens.

Joanne B. from Facebook asks: Can stress bring on an outbreak of eczema?
Yes, stress can sometimes make eczema worse.

Scott W. from Facebook asks: Can we expect eczema to get worse as we age into our golden years?
To the contrary, eczema tends to get better with time.

DeMaria G. from Facebook asks: How do you control it in young kids? My son is 6 years old and we struggle all the time.
It is important to use fragrance-free skincare products, natural fabrics in clothing (e.g. cotton, linen, silk), avoid synthetic fibers (e.g. polyester, nylon), and take him to see an allergist to isolate any underlying allergies that he may have.

Jamie R. from Facebook asks: Does having eczema mean you're more susceptible to having other skin conditions?

Yes, when eczema flares the skin is more susceptible to infection from bacteria and viruses.

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