What causes eczema and dermatitis?

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition with various causes. Firstly, genetic factors play a significant role, as a family history of eczema can increase one’s susceptibility to the condition. Environmental triggers, such as exposure to allergens like pollen, pet dander, or certain foods, chemicals and beauty products can also provoke eczema flare-ups. Additionally, the skin’s ability to retain moisture is impaired in individuals with eczema, making them more prone to dryness and irritation. Stress and emotional factors can exacerbate symptoms as well. Understanding the causes of eczema is essential for effective management and treatment.  Our Oxona healthcare doctors will take the time to help you under stand causes and triggers so that you can get your skin into the very best condition.

 

 

What types of eczema are there?

Although we generally use the word eczema, you will find some doctors refer to it as dermatitis. They both mean the same thing.

  • Atopic eczema, commonly found in children, is associated with other allergic conditions such as asthma and hay fever.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis arises from an allergic response to substances that come into contact with the skin, like perfumes, beauty products, food stuffs or chemicals,  and can be diagnosed through a patch test.
  • Irritant contact eczema, on the other hand, results from skin irritation caused by chemicals like soaps or disinfectants.
  • Lichen simplex chronicus manifests as a thickened, itchy area due to repetitive rubbing and scratching.
  • Nodular prurigo is similar, involving multiple small, itchy regions of thickened and inflamed skin.
  • Asteototic eczema is a dermatitis resulting from dry, cracked skin, often associated with aging.
  • Pompholyx, also known as Dishydrotic eczema, presents as itchy, tiny blisters (vesicles) that form under the skin, typically affecting the hands.
  • Drug-induced eczema may look like any of these subtypes  but is triggered by medication

Treatment Options

Although eczema is not a life-threatening skin condition, it can significantly impact the quality of life for those who experience it. The rashes and itching  can lead to feelings of self-consciousness and embarrassment. Eczema flare-ups can be very itchy and uncomfortable, and the temptation to scratch can worsen it by causing infection and more inflammation.

Oxona Healthcare doctors specialise in the treatment of various skin conditions, including eczema. We offer a range of treatments to address both flare-ups and persistent symptoms of eczema, along with guidance on managing the condition and reducing the likelihood of future flare-ups. Recent advancements in eczema treatment have expanded our options. Topical ointments and emollients can help alleviate existing rashes, while specialized moisturizers can prevent skin dryness. Oral treatments may also be recommended to clear flare-ups and support the long-term management of the condition.

Booking an appointment for eczema

We can nearly always fit you into one of our clinics within a week, and sometimes on the same day. You should book a 30 minute ‘skin diagnosis and treatment’ consultation which costs £185.  We can often give you all the advice and treatment you need in just one appointment. If you do need follow up then do book a 15 minute ‘follow up’ appointment.

FAQs

Can eczema be cured?

There is currently no known cure for eczema, and social media  generates a lot of misinformation and confusion whilst promising ‘cure’. We will always emphasise that eczema has to be managed, and that with the right medication and advice, your skin doesn’t need to be itchy and sore.

Can I claim for my appointment on insurance?

You need to speak to your insurer prior to your appointment. Some insurers will reimburse you for the appointment, but you will need to present any documentation at the time of your appointment for the doctor to sign. Please note that all our doctors are registered with the GMC on the GP register not the consultant register. Please ensure you make this clear to your insurers at the outset.

What does eczema look like?

Acute eczema is red with swelling and scratch marks sometimes to the point of tiny blisters appearing.  It is often symmetrical. In other words both sides of the body are equally affected. Longstanding eczema that has been rubbed repeatedly might be thickened and darkened with a leathery feel.

How it works

From the moment you book your appointment to post-treatment care, we’re here to support you.

  • Booking your appointment
    With Oxona, there’s no need for a referral and you can book your appointment online, over the phone or by email. All appointments require a pre-paid deposit due at the time of booking.
  • Consultation
    Our specialists will give you the time you need to discuss your problem, making sure you are truly heard. Your questions will be answered with understanding and impartial advice, so you feel ready to make an informed decision.
  • Treatment plan
    Our treatment plans are based on you as an individual, rather than off the shelf. Taking into account your symptoms, medical history and any anxieties, we’ll explore all available options and respect your decisions.
  • Aftercare
    Your care doesn’t end after your treatment. Our team are on hand to offer free post-operative support, and to answer any questions about your treatment plan.
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New clinic opened in Didcot on Monday 15 April to meet additional demand.