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Are you sick of itchy skin? Is this
something that is consuming your life? If so, then check out my latest two-part
video series on eczema. In this first one, you’re going to learn about what eczema
is, why you get it, and most importantly specific steps you can take to prevent
it. In the video that follows, we will jump into some treatment options that
can help get this under control. But that’s not all, make sure you stick
around to the end of this video because I’m gonna give you a bonus tip on how
you can save money with your health care. All this and more, coming up! Welcome to FamilyMed, your medical home
for practical and accurate information to help your family make healthy
decisions. I’m Dr. Erik Richardson and today we’re talking eczema. So eczema is
a fairly common condition that most of dealt with in one way or another. It’s
estimated that over 30 million in the United States have some sort of this
condition. Now there’s a large range of different presentations in this, but
simply, eczema is a name of a group of conditions that causes your skin to
become red, itchy and inflamed. So eczema itself is a broad descriptive term and it’s caused by a lot of different things. There tends to
be certain things in your environment that can make it worse. So one of the
keys to controlling this condition is to try and figure out what is causing it
and then try to avoid those things. This can be one of the hardest things about
this condition is really finding out what those are what those triggers can
be. Sometimes doing some allergy testing can actually be helpful in really
getting to the bottom of it. But first, let’s talk about how you know you have
it. What do you look for and how does it present? There are a few things that we
tend to see. First of all, you’ll see some dry, red, sensitive, and even inflamed
skin. You get a very bad itching. You can see dark colored patches in the skin. Sometimes you get some rough leathery or scaly patches of the skin. And then you
can get some oozing or crusting in the areas. It’s really not very fun when it
acts up, as you can see in this picture right here. So, common places that
tend to affect people, are the arms, the back, the legs, hands, face, but really can
happen anywhere. The most common form that we tend to see, especially if you
have a child who’s dealing with it, is a condition called atopic dermatitis. This
is the most common form of eczema. In kids a lot of times it starts as a dry scaly
itchy patch that develops on the face the arms and a lot of times actually
in the creases of the arms and legs. This can range from a small area to being
affected to severe involvement involving a lot of the body. It really
can be quite a miserable condition. So see ,what’s going on in eczema or
atopic dermatitis, is that, healthy skin helps retain moisture that protects
you from bacteria, irritants and different allergens. But those who have
eczema, there’s a problem with that gene that affects the skins ability to
provide this protection. This allows your skin to be affected by these
environmental factors these irritants and these allergens. So, unfortunately
your typical typical eczema or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic
condition. It tends to have a genetic cause and so there really isn’t a cure
for it. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you
can do about it. So, the mainstay of treating and working with
eczema centers in prevention and avoidance. We’ll talk about different
treatments in a minute. Let’s talk about some of the things that you can do to
avoid it flaring on you. First, you really need to moisturize your skin at least
twice a day. Creams, ointments, lotions, they really help seal in the
moisture. A good thick moisturizer, or moisturizing lotion ,absent of
perfumes or chemicals, brands like you’re Aveeno or Cetaphil are
really good options. Even using something as simple as petroleum jelly can really be
helpful in keeping this under control. Now try to identify and avoid any triggers
that worsen this condition. Things that can worsen skin reactions include sweat,
stress,obesity, soaps, detergents, dust and pollen. Try to figure out what your
triggers are and reduce your exposure to them. Infants and children may experience
flares from eating certain foods including eggs, milk, soy, wheat. Talk to
your doctor about the symptoms and possible triggers. It may be worthwhile
to speak with an allergist and get some specific testing. Ok, next. Try to take
shorter baths or showers. Limit your baths and showers to 10
– 15 minutes and use warm rather than hot water. In kids, bathing them every two
to three days can oftentimes be helpful to keep them under control. Also use mild
soaps without perfumes or any antibacterial chemicals. These can remove your natural oils and dry your skin. When you do dry yourself, do it carefully.
After bathing, gently pat your dry skin with a soft towel
and then apply a moisturizer when your skin is still damp. Also use a
humidifier. Just adding a little moisture into the house can really make a big
difference. This is especially true in the winter when you have the heater
running in the house. Also take a bleach bath. The American Academy of
Dermatology recommends considering a bleach bath to help prevent flares. A
diluted Beach bleach bath decreases bacteria in the skin which has been
shown to prevent flares . Check out my notes section below for some
directions on how to do this. So that’s a few other things you can do to
prevent it, so focus on that because it’s so much easier to try and prevent it
than it is to treat it when it really flares. O.k.,so that’s the first part of
this two-part series hopefully it’s giving you a better idea and what you
can do to get on top of this condition and prevent it from flaring on you. If
you missed anything go ahead and watch it again, or even look down below in
the notes section for a review of what we talked about. Now to find out more
about this and to learn what things you can do to treat eczema, make sure you
stay tuned and watch the next video where we focus on treatment options from
the doctor as well as what you can do at home. Let me know what you think, what
kind of things have you found to be helpful in controlling your eczema? Is
there anything that you do that we didn’t discuss here? I want you to tell
me about it in the comments below I really hope you’re finding this
information to be helpful. If so, please take the time to like the video,
subscribe, and even hit that notification button, so you don’t miss out on any of
the new content that we put out. O.K., so now for a reward for those who stuck
with us till the end, Here’s your promised bonus tip: I hear
all the time about how frustrating it is to try and afford medications. It’s
absolutely insane about how much medications are these days. Nothing is
more frustrating to me as a physician, to hear a patient of mine, that they’re not
taking their needed medication because it can’t afford it or their insurance
won’t cover it. There’s not a perfect solution to this problem but one thing
that I have been using myself and recommend all the time to my patients is
using a pharmacy discount card. There’s one that is advertised all the time from
GoodRx. Now, I’m not getting any financial benefit for pitching this, but
I really have had great success with my
self as well as my patients saving sometimes more than half on their
prescriptions. The easiest way to use this is you just download their app on
your smartphone look up the drug you’re wanting to get and it searches for you
what are the best prices from all the different pharmacies. Then you take your
prescription to that pharmacy, show them the price and you get it for that price.
Now it doesn’t go through your insurance. You pay cash cash for the medication. But
a lot of times the price is significantly lower than what you are
quoted through your insurance. This really works well especially if you’re
in a high deductible plan or you don’t have insurance. So check it out, your
wallet will thank you for it. All right, that’s it for today. Now remember, my
purpose in sharing this information is to educate you and the things that you
can think about in trying to make decisions in your own health. In no way
should it be taken as direct medical advice to you in your own situation. So
please consult your own doctor for concerns regarding your specific
situation. So until next time, this is FamilyMed with Dr. Erik Richardson, and
to remember please take care of your body because it’s the only one you have.

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