Eczema can look and feel very similar to other skin conditions. If you have a scaly, itchy rash that cracks, oozes or blisters, it’s important to see a health care provider for a thorough evaluation. 

Because several skin conditions can share similar symptoms, you need a trained professional to check out your rash so you get an accurate diagnosis.

Here at Riviera Allergy Medical Center, allergy and immunology specialist Ulrike Ziegner, MD, has extensive experience and expertise in differentiating between different types of rashes. 

If you have persistent patches of dry, itchy skin, you may have eczema. Dr. Ziegner can provide a comprehensive evaluation to get to the root of what is causing your skin troubles. Take a few moments to learn more about eczema. 

What does eczema look like?

It can be difficult to visually differentiate eczema from other types of rashes. Dr. Ziegner performs a thorough examination along with taking a complete medical history. Eczema tends to run in families, so if you have a close relative with eczema, your chances of having it are higher. 

Patches of cracked, scaly skin are common signs of eczema. Oozing skin might also point to eczema.

Diagnosing eczema

Dr. Ziegner fully examines your skin, paying close attention to the pattern and the location of any rashes. Eczema commonly affects the following body areas:

  • Knees
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Elbows
  • Cheeks

Dr. Ziegner asks questions regarding your rash. You can expect to discuss when the rash first appeared, and whether it comes and goes or remains persistent. 

Keeping a journal and recording your symptoms can be helpful in detecting triggers. You’ll want to make a note about whether the rash appears after using certain personal care products, such as perfume, or using certain laundry detergent. 

Tell Dr. Ziegner about any cosmetic products, soaps, and moisturizers you use regularly. Dr. Ziegner may perform a patch test, which checks for reactions to common allergens found in everyday products. 

If a physical examination, detailed medical history, and patch test don’t settle questions regarding your rash, a skin biopsy might be necessary. This involves taking a small skin sample, which is checked under a microscope. This minor in-office procedure is only necessary if Dr. Ziegner is unable to diagnose your rash using other methods. 

Treatment for eczema

It’s important to know that eczema is a chronic condition, so you need to manage it long-term. People with eczema have skin that is very sensitive and easily triggered by things in their day-to-day life, such as personal beauty products, hot temperatures, cold temperatures, and sweating.

After a formal diagnosis of eczema, Dr. Ziegner provides guidance on the best approach to managing it. Eczema treatment generally involves avoiding known triggers, and using topical creams to ease inflammation and soothe the skin during flare-ups. 

Keeping your skin moisturized and taking some self-care measures go a long way toward managing flare-ups.

It takes some time to learn how to manage your eczema, but Dr. Ziegner is in your corner every step of the way. With some know-how and attentiveness, you can minimize flare-ups and take the best care of your skin. 

If you’re concerned about a rash, get in touch with us. Call our Redondo Beach office to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ziegner. Current and prospective patients can also request a consultation online

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