What Is The Treatment For Eczema?

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How Is Eczema Treated?

Note: Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema.

5 Steps To Treating Eczema

A comprehensive treatment program for eczema involves:

1. Calming skin inflammation
2. Avoiding scratching and rubbing
3. Caring for the skin
4. Treating infections
5. Avoiding allergens that trigger inflammation.

One or more of these steps may be overlooked, depending on what kind of specialist you are seeing, so it's worth reading on!

1. Calming Skin Inflammation

Steroid creams applied directly to the skin are the main treatment for eczema. Although the creams do carry a risk of side effects, they are safe when used correctly. If you avoid steroids because of fear of the side effects - you may end up making the situation worse. Without steroids your eczema may never gets under control, and this can mean using more steroids in the long run. When treating an outbreak of eczema with steroid cream, it is vital to continue applying the cream until the 'hidden healing' has occurred - don't stop as soon as the skin looks better.

Hidden Healing: As a rough guide, the point where the skin looks healed is just the halfway point. Continue to the use the cream for the same time again. So for example, if it took 2 weeks for the skin to return to normal, continue to use the cream for another 2 weeks.

Steroid Creams For Eczema Brand Names

* Betnovate
* Dermovate cream and ointment
* Fucibet cream
* Synalar gel

Promising alternatives to steroid creams now exist: these are tacrolimus and pimecrolimus ointments, however they tend to be more expensive.

2. Avoiding Scratching And Rubbing

Eczema causes the most awful itching that cries out to be scratched. Once the skin is scratched, it breaks and is open to infection and repeat infection.
Read: How to stop scratching eczema.

3. Caring For The Skin

The main aim is to avoid the skin becoming irritated and this is best achieved by avoiding all irritants (like scratchy clothes) and keeping the skin moist.
How to moisturize your skin if you have eczema.
What is the best moisturizer for eczema?

4. Treating Infections

When the skin breaks due to scratching, the skin is breached and nasty little bacteria can enter your system. A regular culprit is the bacterium Staphylocccus aureus which causes a skin infection called impetigo (the skin to 'bleeds' yellow pus). Other infections which should be treated include cold sores (herpes virus) and athletes foot (fungal infection). Sometimes an undetected fungal infection can be the cause of severe eczema which hasn't responded to treatment. A study at Virginia University showed great results in such patients
who were treated with itraconazole, a drug which kills the widest range of fungi.

5. Avoiding Allergens

House dust-mites and pollen are common irritants for eczema sufferers. If pollen is a culprit, the symptoms are obvious because your skin erupts during the pollen season. However, it's not so obvious if you have an allergy to dust-mites. 75 percent of eczema sufferers who are allergic to dust-mites don't know it because their exposure is constant.

Ideally you should have an allergy test. If you can't have a skin-prick allergy test then you need to avoid the allergen and monitor your response. You should also investigate food allergies as a possible trigger.

How to avoid pollen in the home.
Which foods cause allergies?

Related Questions
What Is Eczema? Understanding the basics.
Do I Have Eczema? Symptom-checker.

• Got another question? See: Allergy Questions/span>

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