Atopic Dermatitis Specialist

Wallace Skin & Body Institute

Dermatologist located in Ladera Heights, Los Angeles, CA

Atopic dermatitis is a common form of eczema: One in 10 people in the United States has it. Renowned dermatologist Paul Wallace, MD, MPA, can help you manage your irritable skin flare-ups with a custom treatment plan and professional products at Wallace Skincare & Body Institute. To schedule your evaluation, call the office in the Ladera Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, or request an appointment online today.

Atopic Dermatitis

What is atopic dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis, a form of eczema, is a skin condition that usually first appears by the time you turn five. While you might eventually stop getting flare-ups, they tend to occur semi-regularly throughout your life. 

The main symptom of atopic dermatitis is an itchy, irritated rash. For babies and small children, this rash tends to appear on the inner elbows and knees or on the face and scalp. Adults tend to get it in patches that often affect the backs of the hands or the area around the eyes. 

Your atopic dermatitis flare-ups might have one or more of these characteristics:

  • Scales
  • Flakes
  • Thick, tough skin
  • Skin discoloration (usually darker than your natural tone)
  • Crusting
  • Oozing

Experiencing these symptoms at any age can affect more than your skin. You might lose sleep because of discomfort related to your atopic dermatitis, or you might feel embarrassed to display the rash because of how it looks. Dr. Wallace asks about your concerns to help you build a customized atopic dermatitis treatment plan. 

Atopic dermatitis and eczema share symptoms with other diseases too. Dr. Wallace also specializes in treating psoriasis, melanoma, and other complicated skin issues. 

What triggers atopic dermatitis?

While atopic dermatitis can flare-up at random times, you might notice that you get your flare-ups after exposure to certain triggers. The condition itself can run in families and can stem from a sensitive immune system. However, common triggers of eczema that might lead to flare-ups include:

  • A dry environment
  • Stress
  • Sweat
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dust or sand in the air
  • Certain fabrics, like wool
  • Soaps and detergents
  • Extensive time in hot water, like long baths or showers

Another form of eczema, called contact dermatitis, flares-up exclusively after a given trigger comes in contact with your skin. 

At Wallace Skincare & Body Institute, Dr. Wallace helps you explore and identify triggers that might be affecting your skin. While you can’t prevent every flare-up, knowing your triggers allows you to make adjustments in your lifestyle to minimize them and maintain calm skin. 

How is atopic dermatitis treated?

Dr. Wallace specializes in diagnosing and treating atopic dermatitis and other forms of eczema. To evaluate your skin on your first visit and throughout treatment, he uses Visia® computerized skin complexion analysis to review your skin type and find out which treatments are the most beneficial. 

Although atopic dermatitis and other types of eczema have no cure, an individualized treatment plan can address ongoing flare-ups or help control the condition. At Wallace Skincare & Body Institute, Dr. Wallace might recommend a combination of:

Home skin care

Caring for your skin at home can include multiple approaches, like bathing using soothing soaps or agents, applying a gentle moisturizer, or taking steps to minimize contact with triggers. 

Medicated ointments and creams

Several different medicated topical products work well to calm atopic dermatitis symptoms or reduce flare-ups. Dr. Wallace might prescribe a corticosteroid cream or a product containing calcineurin inhibitors for your eczema. 

Ultraviolet (UV) light therapy

UV light therapy two to three times a week for several weeks or months can reduce atopic dermatitis symptoms in both adults and children. 

Frequent or ongoing atopic dermatitis symptoms can be unbearably itchy. For effective eczema relief, call Wallace Skincare & Body Institute, or request an appointment online today.