How to Manage Facial Eczema Symptoms and Flare-Ups
Facial eczema can create some challenges when it comes to receiving a diagnosis because of its location and presentation. Many people who suffer from facial eczema initially self-diagnose it as an acne issue. Acne and eczema on the face can present similar symptoms, but they are quite different medically.
Acne is simply a condition caused by clogged hair follicles. It is usually a concern due to unsightly breakouts. Acne can present on other parts of the body as well, such as the chest and neck.
Eczema is a condition that affects all age groups. It is genetic, meaning you cannot contract it. Eczema makes the skin more likely to be irritated by allergens. Doctors are unsure of the true causes of eczema, which makes the prognosis for someone suffering from facial eczema difficult.
Eczema on the face can be especially debilitating as it is obvious that someone is suffering from it. The emotional toll can be very taxing for someone suffering this condition. Additionally, sleep patterns are frequently impacted by the eczema symptoms related to these breakouts.
As most dermatologists believe stress exacerbates the symptoms of eczema, a patient suffering from a bout of eczema on the face can have a very difficult time overcoming a flare-up.
Causes and Symptoms of Facial Eczema
Like all forms of eczema, the true cause of facial eczema has yet to be determined. It is a genetic issue that can be agitated by certain behaviors. Unfortunately, each person suffering from eczema is different and triggers vary from person to person.
Most items that make the list of potential triggers are the same as any other list of irritants. Things like smoke, oils and stress commonly make the list of causes. Many dermatologists associate allergens like food, chemicals and certain fabrics as things that may cause an eczema flare-up.
The symptoms of eczema on the face range from mild to debilitating. Itchy, red and scaly skin are commonly listed as symptoms. The itchiness caused by eczema lends itself to causing other problems such as open sores and even infections.
Treating Facial Eczema
While the cause of flare-ups is unknown, dermatologists have developed many options for treatment of eczema on the face. The range of treatments is vast, as each patient and case are unique.
The first goal of a dermatologist is to diagnose eczema through labs, biopsies, or physical examination. From there, treatment plans are created to address the symptoms and other potential problems, like infection. Dermatologists determine a treatment plan on a case-by-case basis.
It is important that patients see a physician before attempting any at-home treatments for their eczema. Facial eczema can lead to complications that need to be addressed by a qualified professional. It should not be treated by guessing what will work. There are other health issues and skin conditions that can present itself like eczema, and only a physician can tell the difference.
Eczema can be difficult to treat at first. In many situations, it can take several attempts at different treatment options to find the right fit. It is important to understand that dermatologists may not fix it on the first try. Frustration over the slow treatment response can cause further stress, which may exacerbate eczema symptoms.
Topical and Oral Treatments
There are a variety of creams and oral medications available for treating eczema and its associated symptoms. These are often combined to address the multitude of symptoms, from itching to pain.
Over the counter medication, like Benadryl or ibuprofen, are often recommended by dermatologists to avoid the overuse of more powerful medications. In severe cases, oral and topical corticosteroids are prescribed to get the inflammation under control.
UV Light Treatments
Some dermatologists will use doses of UV light to attempt to treat eczema symptoms. This can help with the drying process of the skin. There are some inherent concerns with UV light treatments, as exposure for extended periods can cause the skin to age, as well as permanent damage.
Avoiding Facial Eczema Flare-ups
The inability to nail down the exact causes of facial eczema flare-ups makes prevention challenging. There are some general behaviors that dermatologists recommend, which may help avoid a flare-up.
Eczema flare-ups are commonly associated with an increase in stress. Patients diagnosed with eczema should practice techniques to lower stress levels over time. While stress can be difficult to avoid, managing it could lead to a lower chance of a facial eczema outbreak.
Facial skin care is of the utmost importance to someone who has been diagnosed with eczema of the face. It can be tempting to over-wash; however, this practice is not recommended. Using cleansers free of harsh chemicals and fragrances, along with high-quality moisturizers, is a good idea.
Eczema on the face is a genetic problem that unfortunately has no cure. By seeing a dermatologist or physician, patients can get treatment plans to help resolve their symptoms. While determining a cause of flare-ups is impossible, avoiding potential triggers is vital to the long-term control of symptoms.