At Kitagawa Dermatology, patients often ask for the secrets to an eczema cure. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for eczema. Instead, Dr. Kory Kitagawa, MD, FAAD, and his team will talk to you about your history with this dry skin condition, your symptoms, and your unique “triggers.” Then your treatments options will be discussed and, when the right one is chosen, it will be implemented and your progress carefully monitored.

If eczema or any type of dermatitis or skin condition is adversely affecting your life, contact the team at Kitagawa Dermatology today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Kitagawa brings his passion for biology and dermatology to the practice he’s led for more than six years. His knowledge, training, and compassionate care are well known around Honolulu as well as in national and international dermatological circles.

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What is Eczema?

Often, the term eczema is used to describe any itchy rash. More specifically, however, eczema is a non-contagious dry skin condition characterized by dry, red, itchy patches of skin anywhere on your body.

Not all symptoms are the same and not all types of this skin condition look the same. Patches of skin inflammation can range from pink to red to brown, and they can appear on your hands, chest, scalp, elbows, knees, and feet. Some estimates indicate that one in every four Americans is afflicted with eczema.

And the cycle can be unending: your skin itches, so you naturally relieve it by scratching. However, the relief is temporary – the inflammation often worsens the itch, which leads to more scratching, and more itchiness. Finally, this dry skin condition cycle worsens with redder, bumpier skin that might even bleed.

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What Triggers Chronic Itchy Skin?

There’s no conclusive answer for what causes this medical skin condition. However, there are many known factors and triggers for eczema.

Common eczema factors include genetics, hormonal changes, and stress. In fact, eczema can regularly develop due to combined factors, such as hereditary and environmental ones. Pregnancy is thought to be a major contributing factor in many women; however, for just as many women, pregnancy has been known to actually improve their skin condition.

If both parents have had an atopic disease – such as asthma or atopic dermatitis – their child’s likelihood of developing eczema significantly rises.

Many environmental triggers of eczema exist as well:

  • Irritants such as soaps, shampoos, detergents, or juices from fruits or vegetables
  • Allergens including pollen, mold, pets, and dandruff
  • Microbes like bacteria, certain fungi, or viruses
  • Climate traits such as hot or cold temperatures and high or low humidity
  • Foods of all kinds including dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, soy, and wheat
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes brought on by puberty, pregnancy, or menstruation

These eczema triggers are unique from person to person. Avoid your dry skin triggers if you know them; however, if you don’t, a consultation with Kitagawa Dermatology in Hawaii is highly recommended so a treatment plan can be devised and put into action.

Symptoms and Types

There are various symptoms signifying the onset of the various types of eczema, including itchiness and rashes anywhere on the body, though commonly found on the scalp, elbows, knees, chest, neck, wrists, and ankles. Some of the rashes are dark, others are light; some thicken and others stay consistent. In many cases, small raised bumps and very scaly, dry skin also form.

Each eczema type has its own symptoms and triggers.

Atopic Dermatitis

This is a common, chronic type of eczema that can be inherited if one or both parents have an atopic condition. For many people, it starts as an infant and lasts into adolescence. Some people must endure it all their lives while others lose it as they pass through adulthood.

Contact Dermatitis

This includes both allergic and irritant contact dermatitis and is a reaction to a substance that has touched or come in contact with the skin. Such substances include dust, shampoos, cleansers, fabrics, foods, allergens, and more.

Dyshidriotic Eczema

This is a painful, dry skin irritation in the form of small blisters affecting the palms, soles of the feet, and fingers.


Also known as lichen simplex chronicus, this form of eczema can be triggered by an insect bite that results in thick, scaly patches on the scalp, shoulders, forearms, wrists, and legs.

Nummular Eczema

This particular type of eczema is difficult to treat because the symptoms can change from person to person and are not very consistent. The dark, circular patches that form can be crusty and itchy, but not always. They could be openly moist or dry and scaly.

Seborrheic Eczema

Those who suffer from this form of eczema complain of skin inflammation and itchiness on the scalp, face, or chest.

Stasis Dermatitis

This eczema condition is unique in that it seems to develop mostly around the veins in your legs that are affected by circulatory problems.

If any of the above dry skin symptoms are similar to ones you’re experiencing, you should contact an eczema expert in Honolulu like Dr. Kitagawa and his team at Kitagawa Dermatology.

Tips to Manage Your Dry, Irritated Skin

It’s crucial to your peace of mind and expectations to remember that there’s no cure for eczema. The best that can be done is managing your dry skin and itchiness.

The aim of any eczema treatment routine is to devise one that manages and relieves dry skin symptoms like itching or inflammation.

Many medications, topical ointments, and prescriptions are available that can help provide dry skin relief. Perhaps after discussing your circumstances with an eczema specialist like Dr. Kitagawa, you’ll find some cortisone or other corticosteroids, antihistamines, or antibiotics that can help your dry skin.

A skin care regimen, in addition to any medications, is the best way to manage your dry skin condition. We recommend following a plan similar to the following:

  • Every day, take short showers using mild soaps or moisturizers, after which massage rich creams or body lotion into your skin.
  • Frequently hydrate so your skin isn’t dry, dress in light or loose-fitting clothes, and try to reduce your stress.
  • Finally, avoid your triggers as much as possible.

Following most, if not all of these habits can help manage all types of eczema conditions.


Consult Honolulu Dermatology Specialist Dr. Kitagawa

To discover your eczema triggers, discuss your treatment plan, or ask any questions about eczema or related dry skin issues, contact Kitagawa Dermatology or call 808.533.4434 today for answers from our experienced dermatology team in Hawaii.

Next, read Hidradenitis.