* Individual results may vary.
Platinum Dermatology treats a wide range of aesthetic concerns at our cosmetic practice, helping our patients refresh and rejuvenate their appearance. In addition to cosmetic treatments, however, our expert dermatologists also provide medical treatment to relieve troublesome skin problems like eczema.
The specialist dermatologists at our practice are well versed in this all too common dry skin condition. They understand the underlying causes of eczema, also known as dermatitis, and empathise with the discomfort and embarrassment the symptoms can cause.
More importantly, the skin specialists at Platinum Dermatology understand that eczema is a highly individual disease with symptoms that vary tremendously from person to person. Thanks to their skill and training, our dermatologists can help pinpoint the best possible treatments for this skin condition based on each patient’s unique circumstances.
In this article, we put atopic dermatitis under the microscope so you can see it up close and discover what can be done to combat its effects.
What Is Eczema?
Eczema is an itchy red rash that can affect any and all parts of the body. The skin condition can range from mild to moderate to severe. It is usually first diagnosed in infants and young children. Less often, it can start in adulthood.
Eczema symptoms often become less severe as children grow into adults, but not always. At Platinum Dermatology, we treat patients of all ages with all types of eczema.
Eczema is not a life-threatening disease, but it can be debilitating for the sufferer, leading to
- Sleepless nights caused by night-time itching
- Absenteeism from school and work
- Inability to participate in social activities
- Strained interpersonal relationships
- The Itch-Scratch cycle
The chief complaint of eczema sufferers is itchy skin. The Itch-Scratch cycle starts when the itch becomes so intense that the sufferer scratches his/her skin until it bleeds. This makes the rash worse. Scratching leads to increased inflammation and even more itching and scratching.
Then the dreadful cycle starts all over again.
There is no known cure for eczema and it can be a lifelong condition. Untreated eczema often becomes severe and can lead to hospitalisation, but appropriate treatment can control symptoms and help relieve the itch.
At Platinum Dermatology, we work proactively with our patients to help them avoid any worst-case scenario with eczema.
What Causes Eczema?
“Why me?” is often the first question patients who visit Platinum Dermatology ask about their eczema. Atopic dermatitis is still a mystery, with the cause of this dry skin condition still unidentified.
That being said, scientists agree that eczema is likely related to a mix of factors:
- A gene variation that affects the skin’s barrier function causing dry, irritable skin
- Irritation and allergy in response to environmental factors
- Immune system dysfunction
- An increased predisposition to bacterial infections of the skin
Major Symptoms of Eczema
Eczema can flare and subside for no apparent reason. Symptoms include:
- Moderately to severely itchy skin
- Recurring rash
- Dry, red, patchy or cracked skin anywhere on the body
- Rough, leathery, thick skin
In severe cases of eczema we’ve treated at Platinum Dermatology, a patient’s skin weeps, bleeds and crusts over. It can also become infected, causing the sufferer considerable discomfort and delaying recovery.
Who Gets Eczema in Australia?
Eczema isn’t unique to Australia, of course, but it is quite prevalent:
“Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a recurring, non-infectious, inflammatory skin condition affecting one in three Australasians at some stage throughout their lives.” Eczema Association Australasia (EAA)
Eczema can affect anyone at any age, but it is most likely to appear in babies between the ages of two and six months. In fact, according to the Eczema Association Australasia
- More than 50% of all eczema sufferers begin to show symptoms when they are under a year old
- 20% of all eczema sufferers develop eczema before the age of five
Babies frequently get eczema on the cheeks and chin, but it also appears on the scalp, chest, back, outer arms, and legs. Children and adults tend to suffer from eczema on the neck, wrists, hands, feet and ankles. The skin condition is also common in areas that bend, such as the knees and elbows.
While there is no cure for eczema, it may begin to clear up spontaneously around the age of six. Often treatment is necessary. The skin specialists at Platinum Dermatology are able to expertly guide you in managing and treating your eczema both in the short term as well as establishing a long-term management plan.*
Get Help for Eczema at Platinum Dermatology
If you or someone in your family is suffering from the dry, itchy, scaly skin of eczema, the skin experts at Platinum Dermatology want to help. You can reach our practice in Ultimo by phone during business hours on (02) 8014 6500 or use the contact form to learn how we can help you keep your skin healthy, beautiful, and eczema-free.
* Individual results may vary.