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Eczema – Causes, Prevention & Treatment

A photo of a young man itching his skin.

Eczema is common in children, but adults get it too.  You are more likely to have eczema if others in your close family have eczema.  People who live in cities, polluted areas and those who have asthma and allergies are more likely to get eczema.

Eczema is a sign that your immune system is overreacting, causing dry, red, itchy patches on the skin.  Itching makes the rash much worse.  Sometimes rashes “bubble up” and ooze; other times, they may be more scaly. A typical result of excessive scratching is lichenification, the leathery texture caused by skin thickening.

Eczema is not contagious. There is no cure for eczema, but for most patients, it can be treated successfully.

There are common triggers that spur an eczema rash:

  • scratchy clothing touching your skin
  • excessive heat or sweating
  • soaps, body washes
  • household cleaning products, detergents, disinfectants
  • fruit and meat juices
  • dust and dust mites
  • animal dander and animal saliva
  • stress
  • the flu, a cold or cough

Eczema prevention

Since eczema outbreaks can be set off by exposure to certain substances and conditions, avoiding those triggers is the simplest way to minimize flare-ups. Preventative measures include:

  • Moisturize frequently
  • Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity
  • Avoid sweating or overheating
  • Reduce stress
  • Avoid scratchy materials (such as wool or other irritants)
  • Avoid harsh soaps, detergents, and solvents
  • Use fragrance-free products (not unscented, must be free of fragrance)
  • Avoid environmental factors that trigger allergies (e.g., pollens, molds, mites, and animal dander)
  • Be aware of any foods that may cause an outbreak and avoid those foods

Eczema Treatment

The first and most critical step in preventing eczema is to refrain from scratching. Moisturizing lotions or creams, cold compresses and nonprescription anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams and ointments are often helpful.  Dr. Golomb may prescribe corticosteroid medication, antibiotics to combat infection or sedative antihistamines. Phototherapy is a standard procedure to reduce rashes. For severe cases, an immunosuppressive drug such as cyclosporine A (CsA) may be recommended.  Also, the FDA is studying a new class of drugs called topical immunomodulators (TIMs) for the modulation of immune response to reduce eczema flare-ups.


The American Academy of Dermatology offers great resources for patients seeking information about skin issues. For example, if you have atopic dermatitis (aka – eczema), you’ll find information and videos of patients who have the disease under control.

Trusted Eczema Treatment in North Miami

Dermatology Boutique is based in Hallandale Beach, Fl. Dr. Cynthia Golomb regularly sees patients for Eczema treatment from Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach, North Miami Beach, Pembroke Pines & Hollywood, Fl. Call or text or office today to at 855-465-6621 schedule a consultation.

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