Advanced Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology
Samuel L. Gettler, MD
Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology located in Stamford, CT
Atopic dermatitis, also referred to as eczema, is a chronic skin condition marked by dry and itchy skin. Samuel Gettler, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Advanced Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology in Stamford, Connecticut, is an expert at treating children and adults with eczema. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Atopic Dermatitis Q & A
What is atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a common skin condition that affects up to 15 million people in the United States. It makes your skin dry, red, itchy, and bumpy.
The skin condition disrupts your skin’s barrier system, making it more sensitive and vulnerable to infections and dryness.
Common factors that may lead to eczema include:
Immune system overreaction
People with eczema have an immune system that overreacts to certain substances that touch the skin, causing inflammation.
If you have a family history of eczema or any other type of dermatitis, then you may be more likely to have the immune system reaction that causes the inflammation. This is also true for people with a family history of allergies or asthma.
Environment and stress
Substances in your environment — smoke, harsh detergents — may be more irritating to your skin than other people, triggering the red, dry, itchy spots. Emotional stress may also trigger eczema.
What are the symptoms of atopic dermatitis?
Eczema causes a dry, red, itchy rash. The rash may also be scaly or leathery. It most often affects the skin on the face, inside the elbows, or behind the knees. You may also develop this itchy rash on your hands or feet.
Eczema may appear during childhood and improve over time. However, it can get worse.
Dr. Gettler specializes in treating inflammatory skin conditions like eczema. Whether for yourself or your child, Dr. Gettler can provide the care you need to get the best possible improvements in your skin condition.
How is atopic dermatitis diagnosed?
Dr. Gettler diagnoses eczema after an examination of your skin. He also reviews your medical and family history and performs a physical. If he has any doubts about the root cause of your dry, itchy skin, he may run tests such as blood work or allergy testing.
How is atopic dermatitis treated?
Dr. Gettler takes a patient-centered approach to care. He’s an expert in treating adult and pediatric atopic dermatitis. He works closely with you, designing a plan that minimizes flare-ups and eases symptoms during them.
Treatment for eczema may include:
- Topical treatments (cortisone creams, calcineurin inhibitors, crisaborole, ruxolitinib)
- Oral treatments (antihistamines, immunosuppressants)
- Biological treatments (dupixent)
- Phototherapy — a form of light therapy that improves eczema
In addition to medical treatments, Dr. Gettler recommends making changes to your skin care routine to reduce the risk of irritation, such as using products designed for sensitive skin. He also encourages the use of moisturizer after bathing and keeping baths short, especially for children.
Eczema is a chronic skin condition, but you can get relief from your rash with the right help. For expert care, call Advanced Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology or book an appointment online today.