Eczema is a chronic relapsing, itching skin inflammation that usually starts in childhood. It presents with different severity. When the skin is inflammed, it breaks down the natural barrier that the skin provides to our body. With this breaking down of the barrier, the skin and the body in general are vulnerable to several invaders, including bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, and allergens. Thus, many of the severe symptoms of eczema are complications of it not being addressed or treated appropriately at the onset. There are several triggers of inflammation of the skin, of those, environment allergens and bacteria infections seem to be the most important ones. Successful treatment of the disease depends on identifying and controlling triggers and getting appropriate medications for symptomatic control. Using medications to treat eczema only usually does not lead to long lasting suppresion of the inflammation and often leads to recurrent disease. Controling triggers of the inflammation is key to sucessful treatment of the disease. Beside controlling infections and micronutrient deficiencies, another important aspect of the treatment is controlling allergic inflammation as stated previously. Failure to do this can lead to recurent or severe skin inflammation and infections of the skin.
As discussed above, eczema or atopic dermatitis is mainly due to allergic inflammation of the skin and worsened by infections. That is why severe eczema skin usually emit an odor. This disease is not to be confused with psoriasis, which is due to an autoimmune inflammation of the skin. Similarily, this should not be confused with allergic contact dermatitis, which is due to a prolonged contact to allergens like heavy metal, costemic or medications. Thus a patch testing for chemicals or heavy metal does not help in this type of disease. A wrong diagnosis or poor understanding of the disease pathology implies wrong treatment approach. For eczema or atopic dermatitis, controlling allergic inflammation and infections are key to disease control. Thus many atopic dermatitis and eczema cases seen at our Eczema Clinic due to failure of treatment elsewhere, simply control the infections together with quality allergy test and allergy treatment would lead to significant improvement of the disease itself without the need for biologics. In case of failure to control triggers of inflammation downstream, a biologics can be used to block it upstream.
A comprehensive eczema care should include treating skin barriers, defects in the antimicrobial immune defense, allergens exposure, micronutrient deficiency and identifying genetic predisposition to eczema. Come to discuss with us to see how we could help relieve your skin symptoms and ways to manage your condition. Below are some of the procedures and methods we offer at Texas Allergy.
- Skin care teaching
- Idendify and control triggers including treating allergies and infections
- Disease modifying agents and biologics/monocloncal antibodies in case those above methods do not control the disease enough.
- Primary immunodeficiency evaluation if indicated in severe cases that do not response to conventional treatment.
In severe cases, usually in children, your child might need intensive in-hospital care with occlusive dressing to help facilitate skin healing and antimicrobials for super-infections.
Eczema Clinic offers a comprehensive and standardized approach to eczema care.
Hands on teaching of skin care at Eczema Clinic