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Eczema describes a variety of different skin irritation conditions. Atopic dermatitis is considered the most common type. This skin condition is frequently seen in babies but tends to clear up without treatment in most by three years of age.

When eczema doesn’t resolve in childhood, outbreaks may continue periodically throughout life. Researchers don’t know what causes most types of the condition. Popular theories include stress, over-exertion, excess sweating, or environmental dampness and humidity.


The good news for patients is that all forms of this condition are treatable by dermatologists such as Dermatology Specialists of Atlanta. Dr. Kathleen J. Smith is a board-certified dermatologist with more than 200 published medical journal articles.

Here are the types most often seen by dermatologists, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • Atopic: tends to run in families and may result from an overactive immune system
  • Contact: causes itching. Researchers believe that sufferers’ skin may respond to contact with an allergen, such as poison oak/ivy.
  • Seborrheic: looks a bit like dandruff or cradle cap in babies: over-active oil production causes localized yellowish oily patches to form.
  • Statis dermatitis: causes skin itchiness and discoloration. As the name implies, researchers believe this is a circulatory disorder.
  • Dyshidrotic: causes burning, itching pustules and blisters on soles/hands.
  • Nummular: causes red, itchy, scaliness on buttocks, arms, back, and legs. Elderly men suffer most often with this type.
  • Neurodermatitis: causes itching and irritation. Women are more likely to suffer this type than men.

Treatment Options

Different types of the condition require different treatments. Dr. Kathleen J. Smith prescribes topical antihistamine creams and ointments or oral antihistamines to manage temporary contact types. Other varieties, which may present as a severe outbreak, may respond to cream or oral forms of corticosteroids. In some cases, extremely dry skin results and super-hydrating skin lotions and products can improve moisture and reduce itching. Phototherapy, or treatment with ultraviolet light, can bring relief to some patients.

Others require prescription medicines that temporarily suppress the body’s autoimmune response to facilitate healing. For example, topical immunomodular medicines can help those suffering with the atopic form. These steroid-free prescription immunomodulators (TIMs) help dermatologists like Dermatology Specialists of Atlanta to treat T-cell mediated inflammations and skin diseases in some patients.


There is no reason to suffer with eczema or atopic dermatitis. Patients in the greater metropolitan Atlanta area should request a consultation with Dermatology Specialists of Atlanta today: call 678-904-4932.

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