The classic itchy rash – Eczema

By: Dr. Craig Crippen

Eczema is a chronic lifelong condition that causes skin dryness and subsequent inflammation.  It is very challengingto treat because it is a genetic problem that makes the skin dry out very easily and become quite sensitivein addition to being very itchy which when scratched, makes the problem worse.

About 20% of the population suffers with this condition and most patients aren’t aware of the basics of thiscondition to keep it under control.

The 3 cornerstones to managing eczema are:

1. Hydration – keeping the skin hydrated at all times will greatly improve this condition

2. Medical Therapy – when the condition is out of control, medicated creams and ointments can calm down the inflammationand associated symptoms.

3. Education – making sure the patient and caregivers of the patient are informed as to how to best treat this lifelong skin condition.


Q:How can i tell if my child has eczema? A: The most telling symptom is when your child constantly scratches his/her skin in one or more areas.

Q: I have seen my doctor and it doesn’t seem to be getting better, what do i do?A: Have your doctor refer you to a skin specialist or dermatologist to better manage the condition.  The most common reason for treatment failure is the underuse of skin hydrators and topical medicines in addition to inadequate educationof the parents or patient by the healthcare provider.

Q: How do i find a doctor that knows how to treat this condition?A: Any Family Physician or General Practitioner should be able to assist you in managing this condition but if they are notcomfortable in doing so, then a referral to a specialized physician in this area is appropriate.

Dr. Craig Crippen MD ABPh DPD