Office Hours are 8-4:30 pm Monday-Friday

Dermatologist Tips


Identifying eczema and how to handle it

By Atlantic Dermatology - 10/19/2013

Eczema is an itchy rash with inflamed skin. Its symptoms can range in severity from mild itching and redness to severe blistering and cracked skin.

According to our dermatologists, there are many types of eczema that may be categorized by the following:

The location of the rash. For instance, dermatitis on the hands may be referred to as "hand eczema".
The appearance of the rash. For instance, the term "discoid eczema" describes a type of eczema with coin-shaped lesions.
The underlying cause of the rash. For instance, allergic contact eczema is due to the skin coming into contact with something that triggers an allergic response.


Types Of Eczema
Some of the most common forms of eczema in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina include the following:

Atopic dermatitis. This is the most common form of eczema. It describes the dry, sensitive skin associated with allergies and asthma that tends to be inherited. It is common in infants and toddlers who may grow out of it by school age. Moderate to severe cases require ongoing treatment and appropriate skin care at a dermatology clinic to prevent flares.
Asteatotic dermatitis. This form of eczema is caused by dry skin, particularly on the lower legs of elderly people in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This is due to a reduction in sebum, the natural oil in skin that normally protects and moisturizes the skin.
Contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a localized skin reaction to an allergen or irritant, causing redness, inflammation, and intense itching.
Dyshidrotic eczema. According to our skin doctors, this form of eczema causes small, intensely itchy blisters to form on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
Nummular eczema. Is identifiable by coin-shaped patches of irritated skin, occurring sometimes after a skin injury or insect bite.
Seborrheic dermatitis. Sometimes called “cradle cap” in newborns. This rash often appears on the scalp, behind the ears, or on the face and is identifiable by waxy, yellowish, scaly patches of skin.
Stasis dermatitis. Shows up as red, irritated skin on the lower legs and is often associated with circulation problems.

Eczema can be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). Acute eczema usually appears as a red rash, which may be blistered or swollen. When the eczema becomes chronic, the skin may become thickened, rough, and darker than the surrounding skin due to prolonged scratching. Whether acute or chronic, you should be seen by a dermatologist.

Eczema Treatment
The recommended treatment by our dermatologists for eczema will depend on several variables, including the type of eczema, its cause, and severity.  Finding the underlying cause of eczema is one of the primary steps of treatment by our skin doctors.

The dry irritated skin can be treated at our dermatology clinic with one or more of the following medications:
• Topical corticosteroids.
• Topical immunomodulators.
• Antibiotics, if an additional skin infection is suspected.
• Oral antihistamines, which help reduce the itching and help prevent scratching at night.

Tips for avoiding flare-ups

Use lukewarm water (not hot) and avoid soap when bathing. If soap is necessary, our skin doctors recommend applying a mild, moisturizing soap. Hot water and soaps tend to dry the skin.

We prefer a non-soap cleanser such as cetaphil or cera ve.

Apply a moisturizer at least once a day. Apply the moisturizer within 3 minutes after bathing.
Wear smooth, cool clothes. Avoid wool.



If you have a skin condition in need of evaluation and treatment, please contact our dermatology clinic at (757) 481-1666. We serve Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our dermatologists are here to help you.

About our dermatology clinic
For more than three decades our dermatologists have been successfully treating adults and children in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, Eastern Shore and Outer Banks, N.C., who suffer from acne, eczema, moles, skin growths, cysts, nail disorders, psoriasis, rashes, rosacea, skin allergies, skin cancer detection, skin discoloration, warts and other skin problems. Our dermatologists also care for our patients cosmetically through botox fillers, and leg vein sclerotherapy.

Atlantic Dermatology Associates, P.C.
1849 Old Donation Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454  |  Ph: (757) 481-1666     Fax: (757) 481-7696
Cape Charles Medical Center, 216 Mason Avenue, Cape Charles, VA 23320 Privacy Medical Disclaimer VISIONEFX Nondiscrimination and Accessibility Requirements Statement