If you suffer from eczema, you may be debating about what type of doctor you need to see. Do you see an allergist, who specializes in allergies, or a dermatologist, who specializes in skin conditions?
What is eczema?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by itchy, red, and inflamed patches of skin. It often appears in patches on the face, hands, feet, or other parts of the body, and may be accompanied by dry, scaly, or leathery skin.
Eczema is a chronic condition that tends to flare up periodically and can be triggered by a variety of factors, including allergens, irritants, stress, and changes in temperature or humidity. While eczema can affect people of all ages, it is most commonly seen in infants and children.
The exact cause of eczema is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to an overactive immune system response to environmental triggers. Genetics may also play a role, as eczema tends to run in families.
Treatment for eczema typically involves a combination of self-care measures, such as avoiding triggers and keeping the skin moisturized, and medical treatments, such as topical or oral medications.
What is an allergist?
An allergist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases and conditions. Allergists have specialized training and expertise in identifying and managing the immune system response to allergens, which are substances that can trigger an allergic reaction.
Allergists can diagnose a range of allergic conditions, including food allergies, environmental allergies (such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander), drug allergies, and allergic skin conditions (such as hives or eczema). They can also perform allergy testing, including skin tests or blood tests, to identify specific allergens that may be triggering your symptoms. Once an allergist has identified the specific allergens causing your symptoms, they can develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
What is a dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions related to the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes. Dermatologists are trained to evaluate and treat a wide range of skin disorders, including acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin cancer, warts, and infections. They may also provide cosmetic treatments for conditions such as wrinkles, age spots, and sun damage.
Should you see an allergist or dermatologist for eczema?
While both allergists and dermatologists are trained to treat eczema, an allergist can often be the best choice. An allergist can help you determine the triggers and causes of your eczema. Together, you can then create a plan to control your eczema. Treatment options may include:
- Moisturizing creams
- Immunotherapy or allergy shots
- Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
- Immunosuppressant drugs
We welcome you to contact us today at West River ENT & Allergy to learn more about how we can help you treat your eczema and to schedule an appointment with our allergist. We look forward to caring for you.