Eczema Specialist

Travis Sifers, MD -  - Allergy & Immunology

The Center for Allergy & Immunology

Travis Sifers, MD

Allergy & Immunology located in Kansas City, MO & Lee's Summit, MO

Eczema can lead to a lifetime of itching and discomfort if you don’t find the right medication and management plan for your situation. At The Center for Allergy & Immunology, with offices in Kansas City and Lee’s Summit, Missouri, eczema specialist Travis Sifers, MD, uses a patient-focused approach for eczema management. Book your appointment by phone or through online scheduling.

Eczema Q&A

What is eczema?

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is an allergic skin condition featuring an itchy rash. 

Atopic dermatitis most often occurs in children, affecting 10% of all kids today. In many kids, eczema starts to fade by the age of 4, but it can persist into adulthood. 

Experts believe that eczema happens because of a leaky skin barrier, which allows moisture to escape, in turn drying out the skin. This leakage may occur because of genetics or environmental factors.

For example, certain substances and allergens contain protease proteins that disrupt the skin cell bonds and allow skin barrier leakage.

What are the symptoms of eczema?

Eczema happens in flare-ups, with periods of clear skin typically followed by rashes. Common symptoms include: 

  • Itchy rash
  • Small bumps
  • Dry skin
  • Open sores that ooze fluid
  • Discolored patches of skin
  • Thickened, toughened patches of skin
  • Cracked skin

In infants, the most common areas affected by eczema include the face and scalp. In children and adults, eczema may appear in the inner elbows, backs of the knees, hands, feet, chest, eyelids, and other areas. 

Are eczema and contact dermatitis the same thing?

Eczema and contact dermatitis are both types of dermatitis, but they're separate conditions with similar symptoms. With contact dermatitis, direct contact with an irritant causes an itchy rash. 

Common contact dermatitis irritants include soaps, detergents, lotions, poison ivy, certain metals, latex, cosmetics, medicated creams, and perfumes. 

How is eczema diagnosed?

Dr. Sifers examines your skin, considers all of your symptoms, and reviews your medical history. In some cases, you need skin patch testing as well. A discussion of your lifestyle and regular routine with Dr. Sifers can help uncover possible eczema triggers.

How is eczema treated?

At The Center for Allergy & Immunology, Dr. Sifers takes a two-part approach to achieve long-lasting eczema control. 

Medication

Dr. Sifers prescribes topical medications, such as moisturizers, steroids, immunomodulators, and anti-inflammatories, to help you manage symptoms effectively. 

Some people with difficult-to-treat severe eczema need biologic injections, a newer approach that's also used for asthma treatment.

Dr. Sifers works with you to find the medication that's most effective for your needs.

Education

Education is vitally important for eczema control. Dr. Sifers can help you understand the best ways to manage your eczema, prevent flare-ups, and live comfortably.

Both medication and education are essential for successful eczema control. 

To learn how you can manage your eczema long-term, call The Center for Allergy & Immunology or book an appointment online.