Eczema and Dermatitis

Eczema and Dermatitis

Eczema is an umbrella term for a range of uncomfortable skin conditions characterized by areas of dry, itchy patches that can occur on the body, primarily the hands, arms and legs, which become aggravated by itching. Eczema generally falls into two types: chronic (the symptoms are present for a long period) or acute (sudden onset of intense symptoms that can progress and spread, causing inflammation and discomfort).

At Nashville Skin, our skilled dermatologists and skin specialists have extensive training and experience treating eczema by reducing the symptoms and helping patients achieve more comfort in their skin.

What Causes Eczema?

Skin irritations can have a number of causes, so eczema may fall into one of the following categories:

Atopic Dermatitis

This type of eczema often occurs in childhood, primarily the first year of life. While the exact cause of this type of irritation isn’t known, genetics and environment seem to play a role. When a child has atopic dermatitis, the skin becomes itchy, resulting in excessive scratching. This causes a red rash that can flake, blister, or even bleed. In babies, this type of eczema is most commonly seen on the scalp, forehead, cheeks, wrists, and ankles. While this skin condition may follow a child into adulthood, most children do grow out of this type of eczema around the time they enter puberty.

Nummular Dermatitis

This type of skin irritation usually has the circular shape of a coin or oval and can last for several months. These dry patches can occur following a specific injury, such as an abrasion, burn or insect bite.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

Just like it sounds, irritant contact dermatitis is a skin condition caused by exposure to an irritant like a chemical or detergent or periods of prolonged abrasion/friction that aggravates the skin.

Dyshidrotic Dermatitis

Dyshidrotic dermatitis can occur as a response to stress, allergies or exposure to harsh chemicals. This skin disorder presents as small, itchy blisters that can form on the hands and feet.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

This condition, also known as irritant contact dermatitis, appears as a pink or red, itchy skin rash caused by an allergic skin reaction. While pinpointing the exact cause of contact dermatitis can be difficult, it usually involves certain substances, including

  • Flowers
  • Herbs
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Animal dander
  • Dust
  • Hair dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Metals
  • Rubber
  • Formaldehyde (used as a preservative in many products)
  • Skin care products

Allergic contact dermatitis is an allergy to something that touches the skin, even if only briefly. An example of allergic contact dermatitis is poison ivy. It only has to touch the skin for a brief moment to cause a case of dermatitis.

Reliable Eczema Treatment Options in Nashville

Suffering from dry, itchy skin that only gets more swollen and uncomfortable upon scratching can be extremely frustrating and uncomfortable. As a dermatitis flare-up occurs and skin rash symptoms become more and more prevalent, it can even lead to feelings of helplessness.

While there currently isn’t a cure for eczema, the expert practitioners at Nashville Skin will create a personalized treatment plan to help alleviate your dermatitis symptoms. Acute and chronic skin irritation can be improved with medical dermatology. The most common treatment options to improve eczema include:

  • Cool compresses
  • Wearing natural fabrics
  • Moisturizing creams or soaps for sensitive skin
  • Dietary changes
  • Reduction of allergens and chemical irritants
  • Topical steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Phototherapy


Q. How can I reduce the itching from eczema?

A. Itching is one of the most common and worst symptoms of eczema. There are many options for reducing irritation and itching including wearing natural fiber clothing like cotton because synthetic fabrics and wool can cause irritation.

Q. Why is my skin irritation worse at certain times?

A. Eczema is a condition that can have flare-ups. Flare-ups are usually caused by specific triggers, such as substances or conditions that cause dry skin. Some of these include chemical irritants, rough fabrics, stress, overheating, sweating, cold weather, and dry skin.

Q. How can I treat my specific type of eczema?

Getting a formal evaluation to diagnose your type of eczema is the key to identifying triggers and designing a workable treatment plan to manage your symptoms. Schedule a consultation with our team at Nashville Skin to find the best long-term strategy for managing your skin irritation.

Eczema Relief is Just a Consultation Away!

At Nashville Skin, our dedicated practitioners will carefully evaluate and diagnose the type of eczema you may be experiencing and create a comprehensive treatment plan to achieve the best long-term results.

If you think you have eczema and are searching for relief for your symptoms, contact us today at one of our four convenient Nashville locations (21st Avenue S., Southern Hills Medical Center, Centennial Medical Center, or St. Thomas Medical Center – Lennox Village), or at our Clarksville office to schedule a formal evaluation to discuss which treatment options are the best for you.

Next, read about Hair Loss (Alopecia).

Learn More About Our Medical Dermatology Treatments