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Dry conditions in Northern Nevada may contribute to eczema outbreaks

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 3:32 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Patients with eczema who live in our area may be having a tough time with the skin disorder, and the dry air could be contributing to the breakouts.

But for some patients the skin disorder can appear out of nowhere.

Brenna Scott shows us her recent eczema breakout. It started a couple of days ago.

“I have noticed in the last six…when COVID started six monthish, that around my face and neck it has gotten a lot worse,” says Scott. “So, I don’t know if it is the masks, or a cleaning product we are using since. But it has definitely gotten worse in the last six months,” she says.

She has a mild case of eczema right now. Scott says she has had worse breakouts, particularly on her hands when exposed to latex gloves.

One of the tell-tale signs of the skin disorder is a breakout after coming in contact with irritating substances. Patients scratch the itchy skin, and subsequently the skin breaks down and becomes cracked.

It’s an opportunity for infection.

“Sometimes it is intrinsic meaning it is the person, the immune system that is over reactive in a way,” says Dr. Cindy Lamerson with the Nevada Center for Dermatology. “And that is called Atopic Dermatitis. Where we don’t have an exact causative agent that is coming in from the outside and is irritating the skin. But there are other causes of eczema including contact dermatitis,” says Dr. Lamerson, a Board-Certified Dermatologist.

Dr. Lamerson says there are several different types of eczema. Some of it characterized by the cause of the flare ups, and where those flare ups appear on the body.

Treatment can be specific to the kind of eczema the patient presents. There are effective medications that keep eczema under control, and routines patients can develop to keep eczema at bay. Most importantly Dr. Lamerson says using mild soaps, and in many cases keeping the skin lubricated helps.

Getting an accurate diagnosis from a dermatologist though will help a patient take the best course of action.

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