Eczema can be a very frustrating condition to live with. It is caused by inflammation of the outer layers of the skin, leading to redness, dryness, and severe itching. It can be extremely uncomfortable, sore and can even lead to infection of the skin. It’s usually found on the insides of the elbows, in the knee creases and on the face, but it can occur anywhere on the body.
Your Dermatologist at The Cambridge Clinic cannot just treat your eczema and help reduce your symptoms, but will also diagnose the type of Eczema that you have and help you find the underlying cause, so that you can avoid future flare-ups.
Many people do not know what is causing their Eczema, which is what makes it such a difficult condition to treat, without expert help. It can be caused by anything from dust particles in the air to your laundry detergent. It can also begin, even when no lifestyle changes have been made as the skin develops a reaction to something, which it previously tolerated without a problem.
At the Cambridge Clinic, we offer patch testing to help you work out whether an allergy may be causing your Eczema.
Some of the most common irritants for Eczema are skin care products and soaps, environmental allergens (like dust mites, pet fur and pollen), food allergies, fabrics, hormonal changes and heat/ sweat.
Eczema is also a genetic condition, so if someone in your family suffers with it, that may be a reason why you are also affected by it.
There are many different types of Eczema and finding out which type you have is crucial when determining the best treatment for your condition.
During your initial consultation at our Cambridge Clinic, your Skin Doctor will examine the affected area and speak to you in detail about what patterns you have noticed and when your symptoms are worse. They may ask you to complete a symptoms diary to gather more information so they can give you a more accurate diagnosis.
The most common type of Eczema is Atopic Dermatitis, which often begins in childhood, but can occur in people of all ages. Another type of Eczema is allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis. It’s so important to have a Dermatologist assess your skin so they can find you the best treatment plan.
We offer many different treatments including steroid creams, emollients, and home care plans such as avoiding certain things which may be worsening your symptoms.
One of the most important things when treating eczema is keeping the skin lubricated as the drier your skin is, the more irritated it becomes. The use of emollients in the form of creams and lotions should be applied to the affected area regularly. We also sometimes advise patients to wash with these creams as well, to help them avoid anything that may irritate their Eczema and keep the skin clean and moisturised. For some people, this may be all they need to keep their symptoms under control.
However, for many people seeking relief from their Eczema, a topical steroid can be a great treatment, particularly during flare ups. These help to heal the skin and reduce itching. It’s essential that topical steroids are used only under strict guidance from your Skin Doctor, as if they are used long term improperly, they can lead to thinning of the skin.
Topical steroids come in many different strengths and forms including ointments, creams, and plasters. Your Dermatologist may tell you to apply it every day or only on certain days. The aim is to use steroids to heal flare ups, but not to become completely reliant on them, as this can damage your skin.
Eczema is most common among young children and babies. It is often a condition which they will grow out of, but we can help to reduce their symptoms as much as possible during this time. We will also offer our expert advice on preventing your children from scratching their affected areas. Our Dermatologists are highly experienced at treating Eczema in children and ensuring they get the appropriate treatment for their age and skin.
We can suggest lifestyle changes tailored to your child and their symptoms and work with you to figure out what might be worsening them. We understand how difficult it can be to see your child suffering with a condition like this and we always do our best to get the best possible outcome for your family.
Some people develop Eczema in later life or may find that their childhood Eczema never seems to go away. We are here to help you manage your condition so you can move forward with your life. We understand how challenging it can be to live with this condition.
Whether you’ve just started to see symptoms or you’ve been suffering for years, we would always recommend making an appointment with a Dermatologist, here at the Cambridge Clinic. The sooner you make an appointment, the quicker you can put a stop to your suffering.
Eczema is quite common, but it can be more severe in some patients than for others, and can even be debilitating in extreme cases, particularly as it is a chronic condition.
Many people grow out of it, but some people need more help in managing their symptoms, which is where one of our leading Dermatologists can be a vital support to your recovery.
It can be caused by a reaction to certain allergens, which we can help you identify, or it might be more difficult to find a cause, therefore we can help you manage your symptoms so it can have as little impact as possible on your life.
Our aim is to get you to the point where your Eczema is no longer having a negative impact on your mental health or stopping you from doing your normal daily activities.
While you’re waiting for your Dermatologist appointment at our Cambridge Clinic, one of the most important things you can do is try not to scratch your Eczema! As hard as it is, it can make your skin more inflamed and even lead to infection. Try tapping the skin lightly instead and using an itch relief cream that doesn’t irritate your skin. Keeping your hands busy with other activities and cutting your nails short can also help to reduce the urge to scratch.
We would also advice avoiding using any perfumed soaps or skin care products and very hot shower/ baths. Wash the area with tepid water and an emollient if you have one. Keep the area moisturised with a basic moisturiser. Avoid wearing irritating fabrics and stick to soft cottons that haven’t been washed in any perfumed detergents.
You can also try taking a warm bath using colloidal oatmeal, which can help to soothe inflamed skin and reduce itching.
If you are worried about your symptoms or think you may have an infection, please do get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can advise you of what to do and make sure you get any urgent medical attention that may be necessary.
While this advice may help to soothe symptoms in the short term, the only way to get your Eczema fully under control is to make an appointment with one of our Dermatologists, who can offer you a full assessment and treatment plan.