Atopic Dermatitis/ Eczema

eczema
From the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology patient tips:
Atopic dermatitis/eczema
Also see: Allergic Contact Dermatitis
A common allergic reaction often affecting the face, elbows and knees is atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. This red, scaly, itchy rash is usually seen in young infants, but can occur later in life in individuals with personal or family histories of atopy, meaning asthma or allergic rhinitis (“hay fever”). Eczema may at times ooze, or at times may look very dry. A physician will rarely have difficulty diagnosing atopic dermatitis, based on three factors: an 1) itchy, 2) “eczematous” or bubbly rash in an 3) atopic individual. If one of these three features is missing, your physician should consider other causes.

Identifying the cause of the itch is essential in managing symptoms. Common triggers include overheating or sweating, and contact with irritants such as wool, pets or soaps. In older individuals, emotional stress can cause a flare-up. For some patients, usually children, food can also trigger eczema. Secondary staph infections also can cause a flare-up in children. These patients usually have very dry skin and “allergic shiners”-an extra crease, called a Dennie’s line, across their lower eyelids. They are also more susceptible to other skin infections.

Preventing the eczema itch is the primary goal of treatment. The patient must stop scratching and rubbing the rash. Applying cold compresses is helpful, and lubricating the dry skin with cream or ointment, especially during dry seasons, is essential. Patients should remove all “irritants” that aggravate the condition from their environments. If a food is identified as the culprit, it must be eliminated from the diet.
* Addendum: Recent studies have shown that patients with eczema lack a lipid known as ceramide in their skin and treatment with ceramide containing moisturizers helps heal eczema and dry skin faster.

Topical corticosteroid cream medications are most effective in treating the rash once all preventative measures are taken. Rarely, antihistamines or oral corticosteroids are also prescribed, and if a secondary infection has been introduced by scratching, antibiotics are required.

When to see an allergy/asthma specialist
Whenever you have an unusual rash, make sure to contact your allergist, who will work with you to determine its cause-whether allergies, irritants, or another trigger. Most importantly, your physician and other health care providers can offer a support system and assist you in managing your skin condition.

The AAAAI’s How the Allergist/Immunologist Can Help: Consultation and Referral Guidelines Citing the Evidence provide information to assist patients and health care professionals in determining when a patient may need consultation or ongoing specialty care by the allergist/immunologist. Patients should see an allergist/immunologist if they:

Need to confirm the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis in a patient with dermatitis.
Need to identify the origin of contact dermatitis.
Have atopic dermatitis that responds poorly to treatment.
Need to identify the role of mite allergy in patients with atopic dermatitis.
Need to identify the role of food allergy in patients with atopic dermatitis.

Your allergist/immunologist can provide you with more information on allergic skin conditions.

Links:
Winter Itch/ Eczema
Allergy and Asthma Consultants of Rockland and Bergen

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89 thoughts on “Atopic Dermatitis/ Eczema

  1. Hi I have eczema and nobody seems to be able to help although I have not gone to an allergist. I believe what is happening at this stage of my life is that I (56 year old female) excerise alot and sweat alot. My eyes are very itchy as is other facial parts and around my mid section. I try washing right after sweating an I use a topical cream but nothing is working. Do I have to stop excercising? Please recommend a physician in the Washington DC area. Thanks

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  2. You can go to the Allergy links on the right hand side of the home page and click on “Find an Allergist” or go to: http://www.aaaai.org/physref/ which take you to the physician finder page of the American Academy of allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
    I don’t think you need to stop exercising, but if the rash is worse in the areas where you sweat, a lot of eczema patients also have a fungal superinfection because the immune defenses of their skin are not normal. You may want to discuss with your physician if a trial of antifungal cream for a few weeks would be beneficial.

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  3. I HAVE A SKIN RASH. IT STARTED ON MY LOWER LEG,WHERE I BRUISED MY SHIN THREE MONTS AGO. IT BEGAN AS VERY ITCHY,WITH PATCHES OF DRY, RED ITCHY SPOTS. NOW, MY TORSO IS ITCHY, MY UPPER AND LOWER ARMS ARE ITCHY, AS ARE MY LEGS. IT ALMOST FEELS LIKE I HAVE THE ITCH SENSATION ALL OVER MY BODY. COOULD THIS RASH BEAN ALLERGIC REACTION? I HAVE JUST MOVED INTO A NEW HOUSE. OUR BEDROOMIS NOT COMPLETED, SO IHAVE BEEN SLEEPING ON A MATTRESS THAT WAS STORED IN THE BASEMENT FROM THE TIME IT WAS BOUGHT. I HAVE NOT CHANGED DETERGENTS OR SOAPS,AND I AM AT A LOSS. I THOUGHT IT WAS A REACTION TO NIZORAL, BUT I STOP THAT MEDICATION ALMOST TWO WEEKS AGO AND THIS RASH HAS ONLY GOTTEN WORSE. HELP! THANK YOU

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  4. Hi Tara, it is difficult to tell at this point what is causing the rash. Have you seen an allergist or a dermatologist? You may still have the skin fungal infection or you may be reacting to the dust in the mattress. A physician needs to see the rash and you may need further tests. To find an allergist in your area, you can go to http://www.aaaai.org/physref/ or ask your primary care physician.

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  5. Hi! I was born with eczema in the creases of my elbows and behind my knees. It went away, but I developed allergies and asthma as a child. I still have the allergies and asthma, but now the eczema is back. Two years ago I noticed some eczema on my fingers. Lately it has spread to the palm of my hands and to the back of my hands. Now I’m noticing it in the creases of my wrists as well. I’ve been to a dermatologist who gave me super potent steroid cream which only helped a little. When I stopped using the cream, the rash came back worse than before. The eczema stays the same even when I change laundry detergents, soap and shampoo. I’ve tried cutting soy, dairy, eggs and wheat out of my diet but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Any suggestions?

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  6. Hi Amy,
    It seems you have what is called the “Atopic/ allergic triad” of allergic rhinitis, asthma, and eczema. Have you seen an allergist or undergone skin/ blood allergy testing?
    Many eczema patients also have allergies to house dust mites or foods which may be exacerbating their eczema. Upper respiratory infections or skin infections can also aggravate eczema. All these factors should be evaluated.

    You should also be using a hypoallergenic, dye and fragrance free soap (such as Dove White or Ivory) and a hypoallergenic, dye and fragrance free moisturizer such as Aquaphor, Vaseline, or Vanicream after bathing and several times a day. See an allergist or a dermatologist who specializes in eczema for a full evaluation and treatment.

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  7. I have been battling a red, scaly, itchy rash for 6 months. I have seen 3 dermatologists and have been diagnosed with nickel allergy, but my shins continue to be red, raised, itchy and scaly. They don’t think it’s from the nickel, as I have eliminated nickel, but they can not seem to get rid of the rash. I have been treated with 3 steroidal creams and 3 steroid shots and multiple rounds of prednisone. I’ve quit shaving and use hypoallergenic soap and lotion. Can you offer any advice or hypothesis?

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  8. There are several possibilities. One is that you may have eczema/ atopic dermatitis which can be aggravated by ongoing upper respiratory infections such as sinusitis or food allergy. You may need to see an allergist or ENT to rule these out. Second, is it might be a fungal infection. A simple KOH prep by your dermatologist would have told them this. Third, you might need more extensive patch testing. Most dermatologists only do the True test which as 24 allergens instead of the North American Contact Dermatitis panel, which has over 50 allergens tested. Look for a dermatologist/ allergist who specializes in contact dermatitis. Fourth, how’s your circulation? I’ve had elderly patients with poor circulation develop what is called stasis dermatitis in that area. Have you had a skin biopsy? This may tell you if it”s something else completely, like some weird nummular dermatitis. Hope this was helpful.

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  9. Hi, almost 3 years ago my sister contracted scabies and passed it along to myself by sharing living arrangments. Both of us were treated and both cases are now gone Shortly after on numerous occations of not feeling any less itchy in my legs, I again returned to the dermatologist who finally did an allergy patch test. She determined that I had developed an allegry to nickel and sent me on my way by telling me to “avoid” nickel?! Nothing ever bothers me on my body except my legs a day after I shave. Being summer time and needing to use a ravor, I’m at a loss. I’ve got one spot in particular that is troublesome and is rough, scaley, and itchy. The rest of my legs just itch. Is this REALLY an allergy to nickel or could it be something else as I can’t avoid a razor on my legs forever?!

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  10. Avoiding nickel when you have a nickel allergy means avoiiding prolonged contact with objects containing nickel such as jewelry, buttons, zippers, etc. Using a razor for a few minutes isn’t enough to trigger a nickel reaction. What you are currently experiencing may be irritation or folliculitis from shaving. Have you considered other means of hair removal like waxing?

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  11. Hi, I recently developed red bump, itchy and burning rash on both of my wrist. They spread to my shoulder. I also start having it on my neck and legs. They burn and itch!!! It’s killing me.

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  12. I’m 15 with atopic eczema, stasis dermatitis, and seborrhoeic dermatitis. I feel so depressed because I can’t lead the life of a normal person. Can any of these be cured?.

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  13. There are treatments for all these conditions. Seborrheic dermatitis is usually treated with selsun and/or antifungal cream. Atopic eczema may be triggered by food or dust mite allergies, infection, and dryness. All these factors should be evaluated and addressed. I’m not sure why a teenager would have stasis dermatitis, but if you see an allergist and a dermatologist and address the issues I mentioned above, your skin should improve.

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  14. I like your website, very informative! The fungus problem may be partly solved by using strobe light eg., from a studio flash setup. I have read, but typically lost the URL that the use of strobe light can be used to safely treat food. The light although not apparent to us boils the DNA in the fungus/ mould organism and would of course penetrate camera lenses and probably by reflection any organisms that would be invisible to sunlight or UV. I have also looked at medical sterilisation units- but these are…

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  15. hi, ive been searching for some answers for my partner, he has said he has excema, which the docs have presribed steroid cream, but he seems to get break outs of ‘white hard patterns’ all over him, particulary once his skin has been subject to being broken open.. whether from a recent 1st tattoo, a burn, a graze, and once these outbreaks appear he has them forever, he says they only clear up slightly in sun exposure, but due to them being over his arms and legs he tends to cover them up, im not convinced its excema, can u shed any light for us please?

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  16. Is the rash itchy? Eczema/ atopic/ contact dermatitis is usually itchy, red, and dry. If the rash is not itchy, then it’s unlikely to be eczema. People who had eczema as kids may get abnormalities of pigmentation in the areas where they had eczema, so that they have pale areas of skin where they should be tan after sun exposure.

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  17. a year ago i got a red area on my lower shin that itched a lot at first then over time stopped a year later i still have the red area but it has grown in size and rarely itches i also have had another spot appear on my calf both are very smooth no blisters or bumps they are not dry and do not flake….any ideas what this could be?

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  18. Could be a number of things, like psoriasis. Usually eczema will continue to itch a lot. It concerns me that the rash is getting bigger and has appeared in other parts of the body. You should really see a dermatologist to get it checked out.

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  19. Hey, thanks for spreading this information, I also have atopic dermatitis, and well, it is an uncomfortable condition. I recommend the use of cold compresses. I leave them for 10 minutes or so, and I can find great relief!

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  20. hello, I have a bad rash! I thought it started from flea bites. But a week later it became really bad.Possibly from doing backyard work. It is very red, and itches alot. Very bumpy and has spread from my feet to my upper knees,covering almost all my skin. It started out as spotty then i was scratching it one night with my feet and it became really bad. Ive been using a Triamcinolon cream but iam not sure if its working. at night i half to use calamine lotion or else the itchiness of it keeps me awake. tomorrow iam gonna try to see a doctor. I have a 8-week old baby iam taking care of and iam affraid i might pass it too him! i need answers fast. HELP!!!!!

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  21. Don’t worry about passing anything to the baby, but you should wash your hands well before handling him or her.
    Sounds like the flea bites may have gotten infected, I’d suggest applying an antibacterial cream like neosporin once a day (if you’re not allergic to bacitracin) and a steroid cream like triamcinolone or hydrocortisone after 8-12 hours. You can also take an antihistamine like Zyrtec or Claritin once a day for itching. Benadryl will help, but will make you sleepy and I don’t think you want that if you’re caring for a baby. Calamine lotion won’t do much and might irritate your skin further.
    I highly recommend you see a doctor since you may need oral antibiotics and possibly steroids depending on how bad the rash looks. Hope this was helpful and good luck!

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  22. hello again a follow up to my july 28th post, i ended up going to the dermatologist. he told me he thinks the bad rash was from using “off” bug spray on my legs, because iam currently overweight and retaining water it got really bad. I ended up getting a cream to use and a kenollogg shot. today the rash is pretty much gone it doesnt look bad any more and iam completly heeled on my legs. I do have a problem though,it did spread to my hands. they was itching really bad and i couldnt stop itching, i used the cream on my hands along with some cetiphil lotion to hydrate. my hands are now clearing up but i think it has now spread to my eyes.When i wake up in the mornings ,now my eyes itch and are extremely puffy! totally swolen, i used cold compresses to try to get the swelling down they itch really bad at times. i tried using some of that cream around them but i fear it only made things worse? what can i do and does this sounds like anything certain too you?

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  23. You may have developed the same reaction around your eyes, but since the face and around the eyes have the most sensitive skin on the body, you should not be using the same cream that you’re using on your hands. It’s also possible that you may have allergies to house dust mites or something else, in which case the cream would not help you. Talk to your dermatologist again and see what they say, if things don’t get better, you may need aeroallergen or patch testing.

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  24. I have a problem with several of my finger tips. The outer layer of skin has peeled away and has not grown back. I am in construction and need to work with my fingers. The affected areas become dry, crack and sometimes bleed. I use Clobestasol Propionate which heals the wounds but doesn’t prevent the drying from reoccurring. I wear gloves at work but still have to deal with the weekly cracking. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  25. You may have some form of contact dermatitis which is a condition where your skin has an allergic reaction to certain chemicals that you are exposed to. Working in construction, these chemicals may be cement, dyes, etc. To figure out whether you have this problem, you need to get a patch test where the common chemicals that people become allergic to are taped to your back and left on for 2 days, after which the patches are removed and your skin is checked for a rash. There is a True Test panel which most allergists and dermatologists, but there are many many more chemicals that you might be allergic to that are not included in the True test. If you can, make sure you see an allergist or dermatologist that has a special interest in contact dermatitis.

    The other possibility is that you have irritant dermatitis which happens to people who work in jobs there their hands are constantly wet or they have to keep washing their hands all day, like barbers, lab techs, health care workers, dishwashers, etc. If this is the case, then you may have to wear hypoallergenic gloves to avoid getting your hands wet.

    I hope this was helpful, if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

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  26. hi,I have eczema on my arms and legs chest stomach and eyes and and im 11 years old ,I go swimming 6 times a week it stings sometimes, is cholrine the worst thing for eczema? its really itchy and I wake up every night itching ive got cream but I forgetting to cream,what can I do?

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  27. Frequent swimming in chlorinated pools can be irritating and drying to your skin, especially if you already have eczema. You should shower and rinse off well after swimming to get the chlorine out, then use a hypoallergic moisturizer like Vaseline or Aquaphor on your skin while it is still wet to seal in the moisture. This will help. You should follow your doctor’s directions when using the cream, if he or she says you are supposed to use it once a day for a week, then be sure you follow directions. If you forget, then the rash won’t clear up well.
    Also, an allergy pill like Zyrtec which is over the counter will help reduce the itching.
    Are you seeing an eczema specialist like a dermatologist or allergist? If the itching and rash don’t get better, then you should see your pediatrician or even a specialist.
    Many kids have this problem and most of them grow out of it, but while you have it, you have to take care of it.

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  28. Hi. I’ve had an itchy rash on my scalp and the back of my neck for 2 weeks. I used nothing different prior to the break out. I went to my regular doctor and he said he had no idea what it was but he gave me a steroid cream an oral antibiotic and told me to use Selsun Blue shampoo. In a week it still wasn’t better so I went to the dermatologist 4 days ago and she also had no idea what it was but she gave me a steroid shot and told me to take Benadryl and to keep using the cream as needed. I also finished the antibiotic. The rash isn’t any better and in fact appears to be worsening. It hasn’t left the area it is in but there are more bumps in the area on my neck. It is on my scalp, especially near my ears and down the middle of my neck. It is raised and red and extremely itchy but there is no pus or oozing or anything like that. My husband said the last 2 days it looks more like poison ivy. Previously it was scattered red bumps. Should the steroid shot have done something by now? She told me to come back next week if it doesn’t go away for a biopsy. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.

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  29. What products have you been using on your scalp? Have you colored your hair recently? It sounds like you may have contact dermatitis to either hair dye or a hair product like shampoo, conditioner, gel or mousse, which may be why you are continuing to react in spite of treatment. Poison ivy rash is a type of contact dermatitis, it is a hypersensitivity reaction to the oils of the poison ivy leaves.
    I suggest you switch to hypoallergenic hair products (free of perfume and dye) and consult with an allergist or dermatologist who specializes in contact dermatitis and does patch testing for chemicals. If you do color your hair, most people react to the chemical para-phenylenediamine which is found in permanent hair dyes, and you may want to avoid this ingredient in the future. Good luck and keep us posted.

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  30. Thanks for the comments! I haven’t been using anything different other than the Selsun Blue shampoo. I have never colored my hair at all and I’m just using the same condition and hair spray that I’ve used for a long time. I will try the hypoallergenic products and see if that helps. I think the rash may be getting a little better so I will try that before I go back for the biopsy. Thanks!!!

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  31. I am 46 years old female and have been an eczema/atopic dermatitis sufferer since I was 4. In more recent years the eczema has affected my face, especially my upper and lower eyelids. I have a latex allergy, and in the past the facial rashes were attributed to house projects where latex caulking had been used. Over the years I have been able to manage the rashes through moisturizers, ointments and staying away from latex. I have had sporadic times with some uncomfortable, unsightly flares here and there. A few years ago when my facial rashing seemed to be going through a continual rash heal cycle I tried a yeast-free diet that actually seemed to alleviate some of my itching and get me out of the rashing cycle. I remained on the diet for 5 months and then slowly went off it and had little problems with facial rashing for the following two years. Also, I had been on allergy shots on and off and have been on a shot holiday for a year after having been on 7 years.
    In the last few months, I’ve started to get very swollen, red and extremely itchy atopic dermatis on my eyelids. I also have some rashing on my nose (a new spot for me.) I am frustrated with this and have been trying to figure it out and cannot seem to pin point a cause, although I have ideas. I visited my allergist yesterday, and he said anything could have triggered it and I shouldn’t waste my time trying to pin point it. He did recommend that I start back on the shots since I seem to do better on them, and gave me some Atopiclair ointment to try.
    I feel, however, that it may have something to do with one or more of the following recent changes in my environment:
    New carpet, new doors/door knobs, new hardwood flooring, began taking iron supplements a few months ago for iron-deficient anemia, fragrances (my daughters like to spray bath and body products on them each morning b/f school.)
    I am curious enough about the iron supplements that I am going off them for a while to see if things improve.
    Any ideas you may have would be appreciated!

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  32. Hi Linda,
    1. Have you had patch testing? Some eczema patients turn up allergic to common chemicals such as cinammic aldehyde and components of perfumes, so any products with fragrance may be triggering your eczema, or even preservatives in moisturizers, etc.
    2. Have you been on antibiotics for staphylococcal infection? Some patient’s eczema are worsened by bacterial (staphylococcal) colonization or even infection of their skin or subacute sinus infections and treatment with a 2 week course of antibiotics may help.
    3. Another trigger for eczema, especially around the eyes may be a fungus called p. ovale. You might consider treatment with an antifungal cream for 2-4 weeks.
    4. I would be very careful about restarting allergy shots. While I am a big advocate for them in my allergic rhinitis and asthma patients, some eczema patients get worse when they go on allergy injections and have to stop.
    5. If none of these help, you can consult with a dermatologist for phototherapy with ultraviolet light, this is reserved for very severe atopic dermatitis patients and usually helps.

    You may have to consult with an allergist and a dermatologist with special interest in eczema. Hope this was helpful, and keep us posted.

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  33. Hi,

    It is starting to get pretty cold here and I have been using lotion/creme on my hands to keep them hydrated, however, the other day my hand started to itch a little and I relieved the itching by simply scratching the area. For some reason, the itch was almost unbearable and I noticed the area was immediately red and a little scaly-feeling with noticeable little bumps. I looked up images of others with excema and it looks pretty similar to what I’m experiencing. My question is, is it possible to have just one small patch of excema, due to changes in the weather? I’m not experiencing this anywhere else and have never experienced anything like this before..I also have allergies and I know that is thought to sometimes encourage an outbreak. Any feedback is much appreciated! By the way, the area ceased to itch after scratching the first time and I have been keeping the are well hydrated.

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  34. Yes, there is something known as “winter itch” which is eczema related to cold weather. It can happen in one spot or many. Keep moisturizing and well hydrated. If it gets bad, you can use an over the counter steroid cream like Cortaid for a few days. Any more and you should see a doctor.

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  35. Hi,
    It’s Linda Again (11/11.)
    Thank you for your response to my initial inquiry. I wish I could say that all is well now, but it’s not. I think, however, I may be getting closer to the cause. I’m more convinced that it has to do with our recent house projects. Since I have a known latex allergy, we discovered that some new area carpets had some carpet pads with a natural rubber latex backing. We removed these promptly, but it’s now been almost two weeks and I’m still having terribly itchy eyelids. They get very puffy in the morning and then they become a dry red rash for a few days. Then it starts all over. I have been keeping my eyelids moist with vaseline and eucerin cream and need to apply it several times in the middle of the night. My husband and I are suspectful of the 14 new doors we put in. They are molded doors and I’m afraid the chemicals/glues, perhaps formaldahyde, may be the culprit. It’s worse on rainy days and days when we use our wood stove. We’ve removed 3 of the ones near our bedroom to see if things improve. Do you think we’ll need to remove all of them to really tell? If so, how long do you think it’ll take to know if that’s the culprit? Should I be patch tested for formaldehyde and other chemicals? Does formaldehyde dissipate over time? Or is it possible that we’ll need all new doors. No one else in my home is having these issues except my 11 year old daughter did have unexplained hives on her face last week one evening, but she’s now fine. Also, my allergist put me on a short course of prednisone a month ago. I was totally fine the week on it and the week after I stopped, but them it all came back.
    Thanks in advance for your input.

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  36. Hi Linda,
    Formaldehyde is not usually a factor in eczema unless you are in direct contact with it, such as in clothes or cosmetic products.
    Have any of the issues I brought up in my previous reply been addressed? (patch testing, staphylococcal infection, fungal infection, phototherapy)

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  37. I developed a skin rash when I was 7 that started out small and at age 31 has spread to cover a large portion of my limbs in coin shaped red dry patches. They have never itched. Until I was 28 it was diagnosed as psoraisis. A skin biopsy was done and they believe I have dermatitis and not psoraisis but not sure what kind. I have had allergy tests done and am very allergic to dust and suffer from nasal allergies. Would allergy shots help both possibly?

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  38. Allergy shots will help your nasal allergies, but it may not work for your eczema and may even possibly make the eczema worse. Dust mite avoidance measures may help your eczema. What about food allergy testing and patch testing? Also see the suggestions on the Winter Itch/ Eczema post.

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  39. hey,
    I rubbed my hand up against a fabric in my home on christmas day.. immediately i noticed that the back of my hand began to retain a mild warm sensation.. and i knew that i would develop a rash.

    the rash developed all right.. it doesnt itch but it will not go away. it has began to spread to my other hand as well..

    the rash is very dry. and mildly painful. . the skin creases have begun to crack. I’m grateful that the rash is limited to the back of my hands, though i am wondering.. how long will a contact rash last?

    it’s now a week and a half later

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  40. Hi,
    I have had eczema ever since I can remember although it has gotten much worse over this year.
    I am allergic to dogs, dust and milk, and my eczema does flare up when I am around them.

    I’ve been mostly controlling that, but lately I’ve been having a problem…
    Every morning when I wake up, my lips are swollen and scaly. It seems like there is an extra layer of skin covering my lips. I apply chapstick frequently but nothing seems to be helping at all. I’ve also talked to my allergist and he doesn’t seem to be of much help.
    I’ve taken some anti-histamines, but they don’t appear to work.
    I have considered that this possibly has to do with dust. However, I change my sheets every week, and have anti-allergen pillows and mattress covers.
    I have no idea what to do.
    Could anyone please help?
    It’s really difficult to wake up every morning like this.
    thanks.

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  41. I have had casual health problems since my earliest memories. I have always been extremely sensitive to chemicals such as chlorine, bleach, lysol, any type of perfume, fragrant lotions, deodarents and so on. As a result I get migraines. I remember waking up as a small child in the middle of the night crying and then screaming and slamming my head into the wall and pulling on my hair, thats how bad they get. Also since that age, which was about4 or 5, I have gotten these small itchy bumps on my elbows that when scratched they spread and maybe ooze a little bit. They do scab over but continue to itch and then I end up breaking the scab and they continue to spread. I have been to many doctors and have been told everything from I am allergic to sun, or I am allergic to water, to children my age just get this and it usually goes away by the time I’m thirty, or they just plain don’t know what it is and prescribe a steroid cream. I have tried all sorts of creams and lotions, I have even controlled my diet, I have been vegan for 8 years now. I go to the chiropractor, I get acupuncture, I get massage, I take supplements, I detox, I excersize, I use all natural hypoallergenic vegan lotions, laundry detergents, make up, everything. I purify my water, I have tried everything and these bumps keep coming back. I currently have them on my inner arm behind my elbow, under my knees, a few on my finger, some on my foot, a few on my lips, and I also have athletes foot. In the past year I have had very frequent UT infections, sometimes twice a month, and a kindey infection, yeast infections, HPV and impetigo. I also have had frequent migraines requiring me to take tylenol which feeds candida. At one point I burned a hole in my stomache lining from all the tylenol. Since I am vegan I also eat a lot of fruit, sugar feeds candida. I have been told I have severe heavy metal toxicity and candida. But I’ve cleansed!? I have no money to go to a doctor. I just bought a caprylic acid supplement that is supposed to attack and kill candida. I am also taking a probiotic and some really good herbs like Pau D’arco and doing an ionic foot bath cleanse. I have been told that symptoms do get worse sometimes when you are cleansing, like stomache aches, headaches, skin eruptions, etc. But to this extent? It’s been really bad the past 2 weeks and it is getting worse and I am at a loss of what to do. I also get really bad itching on the side of my shins with no rash, just severe itching that no matter what I do it doesn’t get better. I end up scratching my legs raw. I’ve tried tea tree oil, flax oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, I am currently experimenting with neem oil. About 2 years ago I had a belly button ring that got infected becasue it was nickle and turns out I am also allergic to nickle. It got really bad and I didn’t realize it was a nickle allergy until a month or more into the infection and then I took out the ring. My scar from the piercing still itches every now and then like its still infected. But I’ve done cleanses for heavy metals and such. This might also be a reason for bumps. I have really nice skin and hair and nails, this isn’t exzema, this isn’t scabies or any of that stuff. I don’t know what this is, and I can’t afford to go to a dermetitus. HELP!

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  42. i have strated having problems with my eyes and they swell up get really sore and i can barely keep them open and if the sunlight shines on them they water like mad and i can’t keep them open which makes my head go tense and sometimes give me a headache my collegue at work said that maybe it was my make up i had bin using so i switched to hypoallergenic make up which i thought would help but it has come back again ive bin to the doctos 3 times and the first two times i went they said it was conjunctivitis and give me drop for it which did help it but it still come back the third time i went she said its not conjunctivits which i new it wasnt and that it looks more like ive had an allergy to something so she gave me different drops and ive started using them but they havent really helped and my eyes are still the same if not worse ive changed my face cream to e45 aswell and i don’t know what to do anymore really need some help as i really don’t want it again so if anyone could help me feel free to email me at htrinder6@msn.com thanks

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  43. Hannah, sounds like you may have allergic contact dermatitis to a product you’re using. I would consult with an allergist or dermatologist who does patch testing, they may have to treat you with steroids first to control the swelling. I would stop all make up and moisturizers and just use Aquaphor or Cerave moisturizer and Dove white soap until you see the doctor. Hope this helps.

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  44. Dear friend,

    I was diagnosed with having dermatitis of the eyelids. I had been using proactiv and got some on my eyelids by accident. I went to my dermatolgist and she prescribed Desonide Ointment, 0.05%. The rash is gone away, but my eyelids are wrinkled! I keep my eyelids moisturized on a daily basis. It’s now been 2 months and I still don’t see any results! They are still wrinkled! Could you please advise me what medication or moisturizer to buy! Thank you very much for your time and efforts!

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  45. Shell,
    Are you still using the Desonide ointment? Prolonged use of a steroid cream may result in atrophy and drying of the area. If you are no longer using the steroid cream and are only using a moisturizer, you may be allergic to a component in the moisturizer. I would switch to a hypoallergenic moisturizer and soap like Dove white, Ivory, Aquaphor, or Cerave. Certainly schedule a follow-up visit with your Dermatologist for further evaluation.

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  46. No, I only used the ointment for 2 weeks as prescribed by my dermatologist! As, you recommended, I will try one of the moisturizers and follow up with my dermatologist! One more thing, will using the moisturizer get rid of the puffiness too! Thanks Dr. de Asis!

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  48. Hi, My 17 month old daugther is suffering terribly with exzema. It is especially bothersome at night. We put socks on her hands and feet so that she wont hurt herself as bad but she often pulls them off. No one in my household can get a good night sleep. We give her antihistamines, use mild and moderate steriods, cortisozone creams, and a tub of aquaphor every week! Do you have any other suggestions? Since she is so young many of the over the counter remedies say for 2 yrs and older so I always put them back. She has good days and really bad days. She is on a very strict diet because she is allergic to wheat, soy, eggs, nuts, legumes, tree nuts and latex. Please help us help her.

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  49. Has your daughter seen a pediatric Dermatologist or Allergist? She may also have a concurrent bacterial or topical fungal infection which may be why she is not clearing up. In severe cases, the dermatologists can also do phototherapy. Hope this was helpful.

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  50. HI.
    MY BABY IS NOW 9 MONTHS OLD AND HIS EZCEMA STARTED BACK IN FEBRUARY, THE ONLY THING THAT SEEMS TO WORK IS TRIANCINOLONE BUT IM SCARED OF THE SIDE EFFECTS. AS SOON AS I DISCONTINUE IT THE RASH COMES BACK. WHEN WOULD IT GO AWAY? WHAT DO I DO?

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    1. It is not advisable that you use a steroid cream long term, specially in children. I suggest consulting with a pediatric dermatologist and an allergist to see if there are any factors that you can change or if there are other non-steroid medications you can use to cut down on the steroid use.

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  51. ok i have a red spot on my right foot that never goes away but itches, its been there 4 like over a year and a half, months later i get a huge spot on my chest that itched all the time, it was big and bumpy now its not as red and bumpy anymore, but now 4 some reason 4 like a half a year or so already my left foot has them every where little 1’s here big spot here and there all scaddered and bumpy red, and sum hav sort of white skin over it, it itches like a bitch every now and then , it feels great wen i itch it but to do it all the time its a piss off, so wat cood this be? im not sure. any ideas? is this bad? can it effect me sum time in life?

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  52. I have a spot a bit smaller than dime next to my mouth that’s persisted for about eight months. When really active, it is red and itchy. My dermatologist diagnosed me with contact dermatitis. I was prescribed Desonide, which would knock it down to where it was a slightly darker spot with no itch, but as soon as I stopped the application, the redness and itchiness would re-appear within 2-3 days, no matter how long the application period. My dermatologist then did patch testing, which revealed very slight sensitivities to parabens as well as topical steroids. I was given a list of paraben free products which I switched to, and also switched to ProTopic. Again, the rash seemed to subside to a less noticeable level for a couple of weeks, but now it is back and the ProTopic seems to be having virtually no effect. I have a follow up appointment next week and am nearly at my wit’s end. I’m not sure I even trust the diagnosis as contact dermatitis seems to be a convenient fallback for anything that isn’t easily identifiable, and I’m not convinced that the reactions from the patch tests are the culprits since the measurements were mild. Is there something that I should be seeing as a next step from my dermatologist? I feel that there should be more attention on identifying the root cause, but am not sure what adequate steps would be to ensure that I’m getting adequate treatment. This is extremely uncomfortable and is also embarrassing to me since it’s in such a noticeable spot on my face.

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  54. I have been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis on my face, and as a 24 year old male find it next to impossible to get any type of decent shave. I have a hstory of allergies, and have been on several topical treatments but nothing seems to work. Do you have any shaving tips or general tips for managing atopic dermatits on the face (a very painful and visible area)? Thank you.

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  55. Hi Louis, I would be careful about using medium or high potency topical steroids on the face for long periods of time, since facial skin is very thin and may easily develop atrophy and hypopigmentation, which will be easily visible, as you said. I would also try to use hypoallergenic products, not just on your face, which are free of dye and fragrance to avoid further irritating already sensitive skin. Neutrogena, Physicians Formula, and VMV hypoallergenics are examples of hypoallergenic lines. I don’t have any advice on shaving, but having less hair on the affected areas makes it easier for topical medications to work. And always moisturize (with a hypoallergenic moisturizer like Aquaphor or Cerave). Good luck!

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  56. Hi, I am having allergic rhinitis and asthma. I am suffereing from eczema also since last two months.I am using inhaler for asthma and nasal spray. I am 30 yr old. I want to know what should I do to avoid the problems of eczema.
    The blood comes out after severe itching. The life has become miserable because of all this.Please suggest….

    Harish Kumar

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  57. Hi, This past Saturday I noticed a red raised bump below my eyebrow. Thinking it was an innocent bug bite or pimple, I scratched it. Since then the “bump” turned and spread into itchy, dry, red, raised spots around my eyes both above and below. So far I have been applying Vaseline around them to relieve the itchiness, but I’m perplexed to know what randomly caused this reaction and how else to have it disappear! I have read a couple times that Selsun Blue can help to alleviate the dry, redness? I’m afraid it will only become worse, and I wish I knew when it would end!

    As background, when I was younger I had eczema on the insides of my elbows for a couple of years and then it disappeared. Nowadays, I only get eczema seasonally on my hands/fingers, mostly during the dry winter season! I have never gone to the doctor regarding these past conditions, mostly because they never seemed “severe” enough. I am a college student that has been stressed out the past week, with minimal sleep due to school work, activities, etc…but I have never had such a reaction before.

    Any help would be GREAT

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  58. I’ve had eczema since I was a child but it has never been very severe, the most it can be is moderate.
    I also developed asthma 10 years ago and allergies a few years ago.
    I’m 30 and have very dry old looking skin. I get embarrassed at exposing my legs because I have the skin of a 50 year old on my legs. I’ve always moisturised since I was a child and never not wear moisturiser after showering otherwise my skin gets dry and itchy so that’s not the problem.
    In the past year, whenever I moisturise, the oils just sit on top of the surface of the skin and the skin underneath is still dry. It doesn’t matter what moisturisers I use, I’ve used all of them, even the expensive ones like Lipikar Baume by La Roche Posay which used to be my go to cream when everything else fails. It does nothing. I thought it might be a vitamin deficiency as I have had anemia in the past. I take iron regularly now and vitamin b complex, selenium, magnesium, vitamin D, E, A, C, folic acid, fish oil and borage oil.
    It’s very frustrating as I look at my feet and think I have my grandmother’s feet, like an old lady. Please how can I make my skin look younger again or at least my age? Help me.

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  59. Hi!
    I have a rash that it has lasted for almost 8 weeks now, I went to the dermatologist and he gave me a shot of cortizone to stop the itching, and a cream as it is in my palm of my hands , in the top of my hands and now is in my face, its’ flaky, when it dries it looks like scalp all over my clothes, then is completely red and dry, it started last year, same month in may. I have been diagnosed with asthma (allergic) but never been tested is there a correlation here? or it could be a food allergy? Do I need a blood test done?

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    1. Hi Carmen:
      What did the dermatologist say is causing the rash? Certain rashes such as atopic dermatitis/ eczema can be related to other allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis and asthma. Usually, the rash gets worse on exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or animal dander. It does not sound like you have a food allergy since rashes for people with food allergy are spread over the entire body and not just on the hands. You may also have contact dermatitis, which is an allergic rash similar to poison ivy, but occurs on exposure to chemicals found in makeup, soaps, moisturizers, etc.
      If the rash does not clear up, you may want to consider consulting with an Allergy-Immunology specialist who may do skin allergy tests or patch testing. Good luck!

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  60. I had contact dermatitis on my lips for over a year. It was horrible. 15 doctors later, and patch testing twice (also blood testing), it was discovered that I am allergic to toothpaste, honey, and corn. After eliminating all of these, I am left with lip eczema. The doctors say it will eventually go away, but it has been 3 months and I still get flare ups and oozing lips when I drink hot beverages, eat onions, garlic, almost anything. I have been sticking to a very bland diet, but it is getting old. I have never had any skin conditions before. Any advice please?
    Angela

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  61. My 10-year-old son has had eczema/atopic dermatitis since he was about a year old. He has had severe asthma attacks as well, all of which have been traced back to his allergies. He was skin-tested several years ago and was found to be allergic to: tree-nuts, cats, dogs, citrus, dust mites, trees, grasses, weeds, etc. He has been receiving allergy injections for 2 years now and the frequency and severity of his asthma issues have decreased drastically. His eczema/dermatitis has gotten worse than ever. We are seeing a dermatologist tomorrow, but my husband and I are seriously considering stopping the injections. Does anyone have any personal experience with stopping injections at this point the process, and if so, what are the expected effects to his asthma? Thank you!

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  62. Allergy shots may exacerbate atopic dermatitis, and in your son’s case they may be playing a role. I would discuss this with his allergist. Depending on the severity of your son’s allergies, allergy shots are usually continued for at least 3 to 5 years after reaching maintenance doses (highest dose patient can tolerate). If he stops after only 2 years, there is a possibility the asthma may get worse again.
    You have to work with your doctors and together weigh the benefits of the allergy shots for the asthma (which is significant) vs. the discomfort from the eczema and if there are other modalities (phototherapy etc.) that can be used for the eczema.
    Depending on the severity of your son’s asthma and eczema, you could also ask your allergist if he is a candidate for Xolair, which is an injectable medication that benefits asthmatics and may help eczema as well. However, it is currently not FDA approved for children, but there have been clinical trials in asthmatic kids.
    Hope this is helpful.

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