Treatable Condition

Medical Dermatology


Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder characterized by redness, swelling, and intense itching. It usually presents early in childhood and is more common in those with a family history of the condition.


About the Eczema

Eczema begins with an impaired skin barrier that causes epidermal water loss, which makes the skin dry and itchy giving it the saying “eczema is the itch that rashes”. Eczema is very common, affecting more than 31.6 million people in the United States. One in 10 people will develop some form of eczema in their life time.Although there is no cure for eczema there are many treatment options that can reduce symptoms and help prevent outbreaks.


  • What are the Signs and symptoms?
    Most people with eczema experience extremely itchy, dry skin, as well as rough patches of skin. On lighter skin this can be seen as red and inflamed skin. While in darker skin tones it can present as brown, purple, or gray irritated skin. Other symptoms may include:

    1) Blisters that crust over and become scaly.
    2) Red skin around the blisters.
    3) Thick, leathery skin.
  • What causes eczema?
    The cause of eczema is unknown. The American Academy of Dermatology (ADD) describes the cause of eczema as being due to an interaction between one's genes and their environment. It has been shown that your genes, your immune system, and what touches your skin play a significant role in the cause of eczema.
  • What causes eczema to flare up?
    1) Stress.
    2) Exposing skin to harsh conditions: cold and dry weather or dampness.
    3) Exposure to certain irritants such as fragrances or certain soaps and detergents.
    4) Clothing made of wool or synthetic fibers.
    5) Common allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
  • Is eczema contagious?
    No, eczema is not contagious.
  • What can I do to prevent flare ups?
    1) Stress-reduction techniques or cognitive behavioral therapy.
    2) Keeping your environment cool and the humidity stable.
    3) Avoid hot baths or showers.
    4) Bathe quickly to lessen your contact with water.
    5) Help repair the epidermal barrier with consistent moisturization.
    6) Moisturize your skin within 3 minutes of getting out of the shower or bath.
    7) Creams and ointments are preferable. Some good brands for eczema prone skin are: Cerave, Cetaphil, or Eucerin.
    8) There are some prescription only creams that can help restore the skin barrier in eczema prone skin, such as Epiceram.
    9) Using household products that are hypoallergenic including free&clear detergent.
    10) Avoid carpets in the household.
  • What are some treatment options?
    Oral antihistamines taken at night can help relieve itching and prevent scratching. For mild scaly patches, try a topical cortisone cream twice a day no more than 2-3 weeks. If things are persistent and not getting better see your local dermatologist to discuss further treatment options.

"The skin is your best outfit — you just need to know how to take care of it."
Miriam Casal, MD

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Great dermatologist, the staff is amazing ! And great skin line best customer service.

Stephanie V. - Elmhurst, Queens, NY

This office is a hidden gem! Great environment and excellent care. Seeing Dr. Casal is a pleasure - I highly recommend it.

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Good for hair loss. I went to 3 other derms and doctors, she was the only helpful one. Come here!

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