Eczema (Dermatitis) Treated by Board Certified Dermatologists in Baltimore

Dermatology at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common and chronic condition treated by the top quality doctors of Dermatology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Our dermatologists help patients determine the best course of treatment for their eczema.

About the Condition

Eczema may refer to several different types of skin swelling. Eczema is a chronic condition, but it is not contagious. The exact cause is unknown, but it may be caused by a combination of other diseases, irritating substances, allergies or genetics. Eczema may affect any area of the skin, but is commonly found on the arms and legs.

The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, a condition that makes the skin dry and itchy. Atopic dermatitis usually begins during infancy or childhood, but it can strike people at any age. It often affects people who also have:

  • asthma or hay fever
  • a family history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever
  • defects in the skin barrier, allowing moisture out and germs in

Another form of eczema is contact dermatitis. There are two types of contact dermatitis:

  • Irritant contact dermatitis – may develop after touching a strong irritant one time or by coming into contact with the irritating substance repeatedly
  • Allergic contact dermatitis – may develop after a person touches an allergy-triggering substance
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The signs and symptoms of eczema may vary depending on severity. These may include the following:

  • Reddish colored patches
  • Itching, especially at night
  • Small, raised bumps
  • Cracked or scaly skin

Diagnosis of eczema may be difficult. Your dermatologist may diagnose your condition based on a physical examination and a review of your medical history. In some cases, a patch test may be performed to determine if eczema is caused by one of many common allergies.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Treatment for eczema is typically aimed at reducing inflammation, dryness and itching. Over-the-counter, anti-itch creams and additional medications may be prescribed to help control these symptoms. Discuss your symptoms and severity with your dermatologist to determine what treatments are suitable for your needs.

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