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Fighting the fall eczema itch

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It’s that time of year.
Pumpkin spice season, which means the weather is shifting. Everything is changing, from the color of the leaves to the humidity of the air. With those changes comes a lot of different changes in your skin as well. Typically, in the winter months, people start feeling a little itchier and drier. Is it the change in seasons or something more?
Eczema or atopic dermatitis, as it is known in the dermatology world, affects up to 20% of people in the United States according to some reports. Known as the itch that rashes, it can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Typically, patients report being dry, flaky, itchy and sometimes with reddish, wet areas on their face, arms and legs. People predisposed to eczema may have a family history of eczema, a personal history of asthma, hay fever, or seasonal allergies, or maybe just a history of dry skin.
So, what are some common and easy ways to fight off the itch of pumpkin season? A great dermatologist, Neil Fenske, who treated eczema for over 40 years always said the three most important keys to treating eczema were to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Taking a short, 5–10-minute, lukewarm shower or bath at the end of the day, gently pat dry the skin, and then applying large amounts of any moisturizer containing ceramides from the face down can cure up to 80% of people’s eczema.

A popular over the counter product CeraVe (R) cream, which as the name suggests, contains those ceramides that are so essential to the skin in patients with eczema. Ceramides help to lock moisture into the skin, which helps prevent dryness and irritation.
Another great over the counter tool is plain petrolatum or Vaseline, which can help seal the water into the skin before it leaks out. When looking for products, always look for gentle products without fragrances and or scents as these can be more irritating to the skin. For even more information on eczema, visit the national eczema association website at https://nationaleczema.org/ and look for their seal of approval on a variety of over the counter products.
When these simple at-home steps do not work, it may be time to see your local dermatologist for some further prescription treatments.
Dr. Adel Haque is new to the Bucks County area and has a long history of treating eczema with various modalities and treatment options. He is accepting new patients at the Dermatology Partners office in Yardley, located at 209 Floral Vale Blvd., Yardley.


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