• Itchiness
  • Pigmentation or Redness
  • Roughness
  • Inflammation
  • Oozing or Crusting
  • Blistering


in Fargo, North Dakota

It’s estimated that over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema. This chronic skin condition can be extremely difficult to manage day-to-day and can require the help of your dermatologist. Fortunately, Dr. Ness can create the best treatment plan for you using the latest in eczema management and treatments.

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What is Eczema?

Eczema is the term for a set of skin conditions that affect the skin by causing it to become inflamed, itchy, and red. These symptoms can manifest on many different areas of the body (including the scalp, face, arms, backs of the legs, and wrists) and can come and go throughout your lifetime. These are usually called ‘flare-ups’. Most often, eczema in children will go away as they become older. However, it can remain as an adult. Eczema is not contagious, and you cannot catch it from someone else.

What Causes Eczema?

The exact causes of eczema in people that have it are unknown. It’s believed that it can be a combination of factors like genetics, autoimmune responses, and skin function. Because of this, eczema can commonly occur in families. It’s also associated with other health conditions like asthma or allergies. There are some known things that cause eczema to flare up, including skin irritants. It’s important to know these triggers so that you can avoid them.

How is Eczema Treated?

There is no cure for eczema, but you can benefit from some treatments. These, however, can depend on your unique symptoms and type of eczema. There are many types, including:

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Nummular eczema
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Stasis dermatitis

These types can come with different treatment options, so you should be sure to get a diagnosis from Dr. Ness and discuss your options. Most often, over-the-counter or prescription medications can help to mitigate symptoms, as well as a professional-grade skincare regimen. Additionally, some professional skincare treatments can help to reduce flareups using phototherapy and our XTRAC excimer laser system. Many patients benefit from excimer treatments because it comes with fewer side effects and little downtime.

Eczema Maintenance

Living with eczema can be difficult and require a lot of steps. For this reason, it’s important to meet with Dr. Ness to discuss how to best manage your symptoms. Along with medications to suppress flareups and products to help keep your skin healthy, you should also keep note of your specific triggers. Some common ones include:

  • Dryness
  • Irritants like cleaners and disinfectants
  • Common allergens
  • Stress
  • Hot or cold temperatures
  • Season

It can be helpful to keep a journal of possible triggers and your reactions so that you and Dr. Ness can assess your treatment options. For some patients, eczema can be a life-long condition, so it’s highly important to learn what steps to take to prevent flare-ups.

Eczema FAQs

What foods can trigger eczema flare-ups?

Some people can flare when eating certain foods but should be evaluated by a health professional to determine if that is the cause. There is a percentage of eczema patients who do have food allergies but unless you have tested positive for a food allergy you don’t need to avoid any specific food. In general there has been some good studies to encourage eczema suffers to add more foods with Omega-3 Fatty Acids (health fat found in some fish products) and Probiotics. In general we have found that “anti-inflammatory” foods and diets can be beneficial for those with eczema and your general health. And we also have seen that highly processed foods can create inflammation and flare some skin diseases such as eczema.

What home remedies can help with eczema?

Keeping finger nails short and wearing cotton gloves at night can avoid excessive irritation to the skin. Adding humidifiers to your home and a good unscented moisturizing product recommended by your health care provider can decrease your eczema flares.nnBathing daily with luke warm water and apply moisturizers within the first few several minutes after. Avoiding hot water that strips the skin of it’s natural lipids (health skin fats).nnAvoiding chemicals such as household cleaners, laundry detergents, soaps, and or fragranced lotions.

Does eczema spread when you scratch it?

Excessive scratching can worsen your eczema and cause secondary issues such as infections, scarring or thickening of the skin.

How can I tell which type of eczema I have?

Different types of eczema occur on different areas of the skin and sometimes at different ages. It is best to be evaluated by a dermatologist or health care provider to correctly diagnose what type of eczema and course of treatment.

Does eczema get worse with age?

Eczema can occur at any age and in some cases gets worse with age or flaring factors but in other cases improves with age. It is helpful to see your health care provider to determine the type of eczema you have to give you a better idea of what the future holds for your specific type of eczema.

What happens if eczema is left untreated?

Eczema can occur at any age and in some cases gets worse with age or flaring factors but in other cases improves with age. It is helpful to see your health care provider to determine the type of eczema you have to give you a better idea of what the future holds for your specific type of eczema. nn6.What happens if eczema is left untreated?nn      If left untreated secondary infections, scarring or worsening symptoms could occur. Proper care of the skin is essential for prevention and to avoid unnecessary complications and additional treatment that could potentially be avoided. Untreated eczema can also lead to loss of sleep, work or social activities and significant social stigma for many that can affect their mental health.

What season are eczema symptoms worse?

Anytime you are exposed to extreme weather conditions such as extreme cold or heat and even dry air can worsen symptoms of eczema.

Can vitamins help eczema?

You should always speak with a healthcare professional prior to starting any vitamins or supplements to help with your eczema. There is some studies that provide us with evidence that certain supplements can be helpful with those with eczema but only your health care provider can decide if those are safe for you and your type of eczema.

Can eczema develop into something worse?

Untreated eczema could lead to further health concerns if left untreated. Common secondary complications are bacterial and viral infections that require internal medication and medication to be applied to the skin.

Schedule A Consultation

Eczema can be difficult to live with, so enlisting the help of a board certified dermatologist can be one of the best steps you can take. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Ness and discuss the right treatment plan for you, contact our Fargo office or book online today.



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