October is Eczema Awareness Month - from a Dermatologist;
Did you know that the National Eczema Association has declared October as Eczema Awareness Month?
Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is one of the most significant skin conditions worldwide, with itchy, persistent, and aggravating skin lesions on the arms, legs, back, chest, face, and neck. Occurring in families with asthma, hay fever, and food allergies, it develops in either childhood or adulthood, with Autumn being “eczema season,” because the cooler, drier weather challenges our skin.
So let’s take a look at what’s new in eczema treatment, because Dermatologists like myself now have many new treatments at our disposal to help improve people’s skin, preventing flares of and outbreaks of eczema, and helping to control outbreaks.
First, it’s long been known that moisturizing the skin tends to cut down on flares of eczema. My family of four Woodbury Dermatologists started manufacturing a special Shea Butter moisturizer with an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid – Glycolic Acid – first discovered in pineapple and sugarcane – in the 1980s –thousands of people in Tennessee having benefitted from our GlycoShea™ Hand and Body Cream and GlycoShea™ Facial and Neck Cream. I became President of Big River Silk™ Skincare Inc. in 2016, manufacturer and nationwide distributor of the GlycoShea creams, effective anti-wrinkle creams because of their Glycolic Acid (www.Bigriversilkskincare.com; 1-901-753-0168).
Sometimes laboratory testing can help to achieve a cure for the itching of eczema. We Dermatologists consider taking a skin specimen to be tested by the lab (a skin biopsy). We sometimes also order what’s called allergy patch testing, to check for allergic trigger factors, for reactions to commons preservatives, fragrances, or components of latex.
Dermatologists in 2020 have several new eczema treatments to help reduce the itching, dryness, and rashes that come with eczema (atopic dermatitis). For years, we have used prescription topical (meaning “on top of” the skin) steroid creams and ointments. We now also have non-steroid ointments – tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, as well as Atopiclair®. Now we also have a new steroid-free ointment based upon boron technology called Eucrisa Ointment. And we also have a biologic injectable medicine – Dupixent – working directly on the immune system and approved by the FDA down to age 6.
My own Dermatology practice is in Cordova, TN, a suburb of Memphis, TN (www.Rheumderm.com; 1-901-753-0168). And there are over 12,600 Dermatologists in the United States. To find one close to you, go to the American Academy of Dermatology website – AAD.org – then plug your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab.
The National Eczema Association (NEA.org) supports a helpful web site and offers health fairs periodically to raise awareness of the growing number of helpful mediations and treatments.
So if you or a family member suffers from eczema, do not itch in silence. Join the community of people with eczema by connecting.
George Woodbury Jr. M.D.
8143 Walnut Grove Road
Cordova TN 38018