Jennifer Gardner NP

Jennifer has spent her career treating both pediatric and adult patients. Jennifer has spent the last 10 years in Palliative Care, treating medically complex patients, consulting on complex symptom management, across all disease processes.  Learn more about Jennifer here.

Audio Transcript: What is Eczema?

Transcript edited for clarity 

B: Good morning, today we’ve got Jennifer Garner with us from MASA in Springfield here to discuss allergic skin disease, specifically Atopic Dermatitis. Welcome Jennifer. Does this word mean something different from eczema?

JG: Thank you so much for having me Bondsy. It is a pleasure to be here.  Yes, Atopic Dermatitis is another term for eczema, so they get interchanged. It is a chronic skin condition. It’s itchy, Inflamed, and dry skin. As a personal sufferer of it, it is something near and dear to my heart.

B: What causes eczema?

JG: can be from environmental things, dust, pollen, pet dander, irritants, detergent, extreme temperatures, stress, hormones. It is a chronic condition that can affect a lot of different areas and has a lot of different triggers.

B:So dealing with it myself, I have it on the outside of my forearm, inside of my finger, and spots that are not by the bone area or fatty part of the skin. Are there different treatments for different parts of the body?

JG: You can have localized eczema as you said, for example in kids you could see it behind the elbow, or behind the knees. These are big trigger areas. I have it from head to toe. So I have seen varying cases. There are a lot of different treatments. There have been extreme advances in the past couple of years. I was at a conference and learned that  2.6 million people suffer from eczema or , and I thought wow that’s a lot. So yes it affects many different people in different ways, and there are tiered steps of treatments. Luckily there are so many new treatments for it now. 

B: What do you think is one of the best treatment? Is it the way you are living, taking things out of your life, or medicine for it?

JG: There are actually medicines, some lifestyle changes, and we tackle the inflammation. We usually start off with topical treatments. Allergies can play a very big part in this. So by seeing an allergist, or by seeing somebody like me, you can see what it is that might be triggering your eczema. Is it food? Is it environmental triggers? This is very important.

B: I’m glad you brought that up. It is important to bring an allergist, like yourself from Mid, into your life, because then you can figure out how to treat it and the severity of it, and what is causing it. You need to get those questions answered before you can take that next step. It can be a hassle. It can be itchy, irritating, painful, and seeing someone like yourself is very important. So how can people get in touch with you and get these things answered?

JG: I am practicing in Springfield and have outreach in Jacksonville and Carlinville. I am with Midwest Allergy Sinus and Respiratory. Our number is 217-717-4404. We also have a website Either one of those is good to get in touch, even for an evaluation, just to see what’s going on. For me, I suffered for 20 something years, before I sought treatment. It’s just your skin. You don’t need to suffer. I’d be happy to help anybody. 

B: Yes 100%, because you already have other stuff bugging you like mosquitoes causing itches. You don’t need eczema to add to that. Thank you so much for your time. Have a great weekend and we look forward to talking to you again!

JG: Thanks Bondsy!

Eczema Resources

You are welcome to visit for Frequently Asked Questions about Eczema. You can learn more about Eczema on our website here where we list relevant articles we produced.

Moreover, we have ongoing research is exploring new therapies, including topical and systemic medications. Midwest Allergy Sinus Asthma/Respiratory runs a research center in Bloomington-Normal where patients can get involved in the newest treatments. MASA and the research team led by Dr. Siri helped to develop many of the new treatments. Dr. Siri is a published author in the pivotal trials for Dupixent and Cinbinqo, two of the newer medications that are highly effective.  Please visit if you are interested in finding out more about paid opportunities for skin studies.