Chances are that if you live in the Midwest, you have experienced some level of dry skin or itching, especially in the winter. But did you know that some people can experience an actual skin inflammation any time of the year? Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a condition where one can have itchy or 'pruritic' skin and rash. Eczema is often known as the "itch that rashes", meaning that before we even see a rash, the process is already starting from within! It commonly occurs in children, but can occur at any age. Common locations one might see eczema include the insides of your elbows and behind your knees - these areas are called your flexors. Other common locations include the hands and feet, but really it can occur anywhere. Many things can play a role in eczema including products we use, environmental allergens around us, and occasionally foods. When treating eczema, skin hygiene is a big part of our solution. Changing to fragrance free products and using thicker emollients can make a world of difference. Talking to your allergist or dermatologist can help determine if there are products you are using that can worsen or exacerbate your skin, if any external triggers could be playing a role, or if prescription medication is necessary.
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