Dermatitis (Eczema)

Consultations offered at our two convenient locations in Phoenix and Scottdale

dermatitis eczema procedure

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis (AD), is a common yet troublesome skin condition. In fact, it affects 25% of people in developed countries, and studies show that it is on the rise. [1] Many who suffer from eczema often start seeing its symptoms in childhood, while others are disappointed by its onset later in life. But regardless of your age, this skin condition is recognizable by an itchy rash that can turn into tiny fluid-filled blisters. There is nothing fun about eczema, so if you’re prone to outbreaks, it is important to manage this condition carefully to avoid further discomfort.

Phoenix Skin knows the toll eczema can take on your ability to enjoy life. How can you focus on anything else when distracted by painfully itchy skin? We also understand the embarrassment of eczema. With over 25 years of experience and a passion for promoting healthy skin, you are in good hands with the Phoenix Skin team. So don’t suffer another minute; call us at (602) 222-9111 or schedule a consultation with our dedicated staff. We accept all forms of insurance and look forward to helping you heal.

By following our blog, you can learn more about our practice and the other treatments and procedures we offer residents in the Phoenix area.

What Causes Eczema?

Along with understanding the cause of inflammatory skin disease, it is crucial to fully grasp the ability eczema has to affect mental health negatively. Studies show a link between eczema and depression and anxiety. Itching and lesions can cause sleeplessness and social embarrassment, which can significantly affect life for sufferers and their families. Depression can look like a loss of interest and enjoyment in life, and anxiety can be excessive fear, anxiousness, or the avoidance of perceived threats. [2] Clearly, the toll this disease takes is no joke. 

There are many factors that contribute to eczema, including:


There are sixty-two genes linked to AD, most of them associated with protective skin proteins and our general (innate) immune system. Mutations within these genes can cause the skin’s defenses to break down, making the skin vulnerable to irritation. [1]

The Environment

Whether it be seasonal allergies, environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, pet dander, or mold, or our specific lifestyle, it can all contribute to the emergence of atopic dermatitis. But it varies from person to person within the same environment and exposure to the same things. For example, higher temperatures and relative humidity can increase the risk of the disease developing, especially in children. Additionally, a western diet and the use of alkaline soap can increase the risk. [1]

The Body’s Response

So why do some people respond to these factors with itchy, red skin while others do not? It can be frustrating, but science is working hard to understand more about this disease; while there are still many debates, two interesting theories have emerged:

The Inside-Out Theory

Our bodies contain a hormonal messenger system that lets us know if something is amiss – think of them as the body’s alarm system. When a foreign substance shows up uninvited, these messengers (called cytokines) let us know by triggering cellular inflammation, which causes the body to attack itself, or an allergic response. [3] They are looking out for us, but their method of communication is warped and can be downright painful. The inside-out theory proposes that these biological responses stem from a genetic predisposition that causes an allergic reaction to common allergens, either inhaled or consumed through food. [4] In short, certain things that don’t bother the majority can produce a painful response in some because of this imbalance.

The Outside-In Theory

This theory focuses more on the skin’s inability to stop allergens from penetrating the skin’s barrier because the skin cells do not produce enough keratin. [5] Keratin is a protective protein that makes up our hair, skin, and nails. A breakdown in keratin production causes a breach in the skin’s barrier and may cause a negative response in your skin.

Most likely, skin inflammation is a combination of many factors. [1] Regardless of the reason, the skin’s response can impede your ability to enjoy life.

The Immune System

Defects in the immune system’s production of antibodies and specific white blood cells are associated with the development of eczema. [1][3] 

Eczema Treatment in Phoenix

While there is not yet a cure for AD, Phoenix Skin offers many treatments that can ease pain and increase comfort.

Basic Management

AD is a chronic disease and requires a significant contribution from the patient to maintain comfort level and reduce flare-ups. Additionally, the application of topical treatments can ease symptoms.

  • Skin Hydration – ​​applying moisturizer daily, even on unaffected areas, is recommended for patients with mild, moderate, or severe AD. [1]
  • Allergen avoidance
  • Elimination of triggers
  • Wet Wrap Therapy

Topical Treatments

  • Topical Corticosteroids – TCSs are effective as the first line of defense against flare-ups and itchiness. However, they should not be used long-term because of the chance for adverse effects like adrenal suppression and skin atrophy.
  • Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors – TCIs can be used for acute flare-ups or maintenance. These nonsteroidal treatments do not have the long-term effects that TCSs can induce. Unfortunately, the application of TCIs can cause momentary burning or itching sensation at the application site. [1]

Second Line Therapies

Chronic AD can lead to bacterial, fungal, and viral superinfections. Adding warm water baths (with mild, non-acidic soap) is effective after short-term use of topical treatment. Some patients experiencing complications from chronic AD may benefit from anti-inflammatory antibiotics and antifungals. [1]

Third Line Therapies

If the first two lines of defense are ineffective, the FDA has approved the use of many therapeutic biologics.  Our knowledgeable staff will address your options and cover a treatment plan to help make life more enjoyable.

Benefits of Eczema Treatment

Eczema is a burden, so patients who experience relief from the physical and mental damage find they have a new lease on life. Because the disease is chronic, until there is a cure, patients must focus on maintaining a healthy barrier and preventing worsening outbreaks. Taking control of your AD symptoms can be empowering. Furthermore, better sleep and fewer visible lesions mean patients can expect increased confidence and a desire to experience life. Advocate for your health; call (602) 222-9111 or schedule a consultation today.

Candidates for Eczema Treatment

Ideal candidates for AD treatment are experiencing the uncomfortable itch and painful lesions associated with eczema. No matter the severity of your symptoms – mild to advanced – Phoenix Skin can help you find relief. Patients in the Phoenix area will benefit from 25 years focused on treatments for skin diseases. Call us today at (602) 222-9111.

Personal Consultation

During your consultation, one of our dedicated and knowledgeable surgical assistants will review your skin concerns and answer any questions you may have. We will assess your skin and ask about your health history and that of your family. We will address a treatment plan if you are not experiencing eczema but something else. Additionally, you are welcome to ask questions about your skin or any other concerns you have that Phoenix Skin can address.

What is the Cost of Eczema Treatment in Arizona?

We will go over all of the costs involved with treating AD during your consultation. Fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch to schedule an appointment.


What causes eczema?

There are many evidence-based triggers of AD: [6]
Chemical irritants: soap, bubble baths, shower gels, detergents
Physical irritants: wool, nylon
Allergic contact allergens: perfumes, toiletries, baby wipes
Food allergens
Aero-allergens: animal dander, pollen, mold
Cigarette smoke

And non-evidence-based triggers (commonly believed to contribute):
Extremes of temperature and humidity

What Other Things Can Help Ease Eczema Symptoms?

Drink plenty of water, avoid overly hot showers, get a humidifier, and decrease stress by exercising and hanging out with friends.


  1. Schonmann Y, Mansfield KE, Hayes JF, et al. Atopic Eczema in Adulthood and Risk of Depression and Anxiety: A Population-Based Cohort Study. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Practice. 2020;8(1):248-257.e16. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2019.08.030
  2. Kader, H. A., Azeem, M., Jwayed, S. A., Al-Shehhi, A., Tabassum, A., Ayoub, M. A., Hetta, H. F., Waheed, Y., Iratni, R., Al-Dhaheri, A., & Muhammad, K. (2021). Current Insights into Immunology and Novel Therapeutics of Atopic Dermatitis. Cells, 10(6), 1392.
  3. Berger A. Science commentary: Th1 and Th2 responses: what are they? BMJ. 2000;321(7258):424-424. doi:10.1136/bmj.321.7258.424
  4. Justiz Vaillant AA, Modi P, Jan A. Atopy. PubMed. Published 2020.
  5. Salas PJ, Forteza R, Mashukova A. Multiple roles for keratin intermediate filaments in the regulation of epithelial barrier function and apico-basal polarity. Tissue Barriers. 2016;4(3):e1178368. doi:10.1080/21688370.2016.1178368
  6. Kannenberg SM, Jordaan HF. Triggers in atopic dermatitis/eczema : separating fact from fiction : review article. Published June 1, 2014.