The Eczema Center at San Tan Allergy and Asthma is the first comprehensive eczema treatment center in Arizona. Our board certified physicians have extensive knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of eczema and have high rates of success in achieving disease response and sustained improvement. Because of the complexity involved in treating eczema, our expertise plays a critical part in monitoring and carefully adjusting the therapeutic approach to provide the best outcome for our patients.
We provide a comprehensive evaluation and therapies tailored to each patient’s individual needs. We also specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions often associated with eczema including contact dermatitis, viral and bacterial skin infections, food allergy, environmental allergy, and asthma.
The Eczema Center Services
- A partnership between the patient, family, and the eczema team
- Expertise in difficult to manage eczema and related diseases
- Evaluation for other allergic conditions including asthma, allergic rhinitis, contact dermatitis, and food allergies
- Comprehensive testing and challenges where needed, including:
- Environmental skin testing
- Food allergy skin testing
- Patch testing
- Skin biopsies
- Food challenges
- In-depth one-on-one teaching including the application of wraps and topical medications
- If necessary, treatment with biologic agents targeting the immune system
- Opportunities to participate in clinical research related to the treatment of eczema
Lectures about the causes and treatment of eczema
Teaching sessions on skin care techniques
Review of new research findings
Question and answer sessions with a provider specializing in eczema management
What is Eczema?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the most common chronic skin condition affecting children. This inflammatory skin disease often begins in early childhood, but can persist into adulthood. Approximately 1/10 people will suffer from eczema at some point in their life.
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, although the primary defect involves the skin barrier function. The disease tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component, and is associated with environmental allergies, food allergies, and asthma. It is often the first sign of allergy in children.
Atopic dermatitis is characterized by dry, cracked, and irritated skin that can be associated with intense, difficult to control itching. The itching can interfere with daily activities, including sleep, and significantly impacts quality of life.
Scratching can irritate the skin, further disrupt the skin barrier, and thus predispose patients to skin infections. When severe, atopic dermatitis can interfere with a child’s normal growth and development. Therefore, breaking the chronic itch-scratch cycle is integral to successfully treating atopic dermatitis.
The management of atopic dermatitis can be difficult and often requires intensive education and treatment to successfully control the disease. The Eczema Center at San Tan Allergy is dedicated to addressing the individual needs of each patient and providing patient and their families with the resources and education necessary to control this complex disease.
How is Eczema Treated?
The most important step in eczema treatment is restoration of moisture to dry skin and repair of the disrupted skin barrier. Therefore, the soak and seal method is the foundation of any eczema treatment regimen (link to soak and seal instructions/handout).
Mild – moderate forms of eczema can generally be treated effectively with the soak and seal method utilizing as needed topical prescription medications. These medications may include steroid creams or ointments, non-steroidal calcineurin antagonists (elidel, protopic) or a topical phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor (Eucrisa). In some cases, wet wrap therapy may also be recommended (link to wet wrap instructions).
Patients with more severe eczema may require treatment with systemic immunosuppressant medications or a biologic medication, Dupixent, which is a monthly injection. Patients can have specific triggers that may result in eczema exacerbations, including irritants, allergens, infections, and emotional factors. Assessment for and elimination of these potential triggers is also an important part of treatment at The Eczema Center at San Tan Allergy and Asthma.