Causes of Eczema – Treat the Cause, Not Just the Symptoms
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Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition affecting millions of Americans. Atlanta-area patients of Dr. Chacko often undergo allergy testing and discover an allergic reaction is to blame.
Many are familiar with the uncomfortable itching, oozing and inflammation that are symptoms of eczema, but most don’t actually know the exact cause of their eczema. Encouragingly, treating the allergy that is causing the atopic dermatitis can be the key to overcoming this difficult condition.
How Allergies Cause Eczema
As your skin comes into contact with various substances, the immune system attempts to respond to a perceived threat by releasing antibodies. The result is usually a dry rash that scales over if you scratch it. Common examples of allergens include dust, pollen, pet dander, sunlight, latex, perfumes, ointments and jewelry.
Eczema can also be a side effect of a food allergy. If you experience allergic reactions to foods like eggs, milk, peanuts and tree nuts, skin inflammation may be one of the visible signs of an allergy. However, the delayed allergic response to consuming the food might make it difficult to identify without medical assistance.
One of the difficulties of treating atopic dermatitis is identifying the triggers of the condition. The results of skin contact with allergens and other environmental factors may not show on the skin for 24–48 hours. An experienced professional can help uncover the triggers after a consultation that may include allergy testing such as skin prick, blood or food challenge testing.
Alternative Eczema Triggers
Genetics, stress and hormonal changes may also be partly or fully responsible for a skin condition like eczema. In some cases, a mild rash can be aggravated by constant scratching. Subsequently, infections can occur that only lead to greater inflammation of the skin.
How Can You Effectively Treat Eczema?
Understanding the causes of your eczema is crucial for effective treatment. There are various topical creams, ointments and medications aimed at reducing the severity of the condition. But these treatments typically only ease the redness and itching, without offering a long-term solution. If an allergen is the main factor behind your atopic dermatitis, the best solution may be allergy shots or immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy treatment requires consistent allergy shots. An allergist injects small levels of the allergen over a period of time. The dosage is gradually increased, allowing the immune system to build a tolerance to the allergen. The resulting tolerance allows individuals to come into contact with an allergy trigger without experiencing an allergic reaction. If an allergy is a main or contributing factor to your eczema, immunotherapy can help you live your life without this distressing skin condition.
Start Treating the Cause of Your Eczema
Are allergies to blame for your eczema? Dr. Chacko can get to the root of your skin condition using allergy testing and appropriate treatment. Request an appointment online at one of our allergy treatment centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth or Johns Creek – or call us today at 678-668-4688.