The key to staying healthy while you are living with eczema is to keep symptoms under control. For most types of eczema, managing the symptoms and its condition comes down to these basics:
- Be familiar with your triggers
- Use Over-The-Counter and/or prescription medication consistently and as prescribed
- Implement a regular moisturizing and bathing routine
- Look out for signs of infection such as pain, pus-filled bumps, redness, heat — on the skin
How is Eczema Treated?
The treatment of eczema depends on the symptoms (for example, dry skin is treated differently than oozing blisters) and the factors that worsen or trigger symptoms. No one treatment is best for all people. The goal of treatment is to reduce discomfort, itching and to prevent infection and additional flare-ups.
Treatment Options Include:
The most effective way for treating dry skin is to give it the moisture it needs through moisturizing and proper bathing.
Take a shower or soak in a warm bath, then moisturize immediately afterward (within 3 minutes). You can help calm some specific symptoms of eczema by adding bleach, vinegar, salt, oatmeal, or baking soda to your bath water.
Over-the-counter creams and ointments containing the steroid cortisone, such as hydrocortisone acetate (Cort-Aid®) and hydrocortisone (Cortisone 10®), may be used to help control the swelling, itching, and redness associated with eczema.
Also, stronger, prescription-strength steroid creams are available. Steroid shots and pill may be used in the short term to get control of severe eczema, but long-term use of these is not recommended because of the possible side effects, which include weight gain, high blood pressure, and thinning of the skin.
When your skin gets too dry, it can become irritated, and therefore cause your eczema to flare. Low humidity, wind, harsh soaps, cold temperatures, and too much washing without using moisturizer immediately after, can lead to dry skin.
Many people with eczema have drier-than-normal skin because of an imbalance in the topmost protective layer of skin, known as the skin barrier. When functioning normally, your skin barrier helps keep allergens and irritants out and moisture in.
This is why properly moisturizing and bathing to maintain a healthy skin barrier are important to help control your eczema symptoms. Also, it is important to understand when and how to properly moisturize, and which products are best to use when you have eczema.
4. New Option for Severe Eczema
The Food and Drug Administration or FDA has recently approved a new, injectable biologic (monoclonal antibody) known as dupilumab (Dupixent). This is used to treat people with severe disease who do not respond well to other treatment options.
This is a newer medication, therefore, it does not have a long track record in terms of how well it helps people. Studies have reported it to be safe if used as directed. This is very expensive.
Preventing flare-ups is one of the best way to manage eczema. For this reason, it is very important to try to identify and avoid symptom triggers, including certain food allergens or detergents, and to moisturize the skin.
In phototherapy, a special machine is used to emit narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) light onto the skin to help in reducing inflammation and itching, increase bacteria-fighting systems and vitamin D production in the skin.
7. Wet Dressings
An effective, yet intensive treatment for severe atopic dermatitis involves wrapping the affected area using wet bandages and topical corticosteroids. Sometimes this is done in a hospital for people who have widespread lesions because it’s labor intensive and requires nursing expertise. Or, you can ask your doctor about learning how to do this technique at home.
What Complications are Linked with Eczema?
- Scars can occur when the skin is damaged from continuous scratching.
- Rubbing itchy areas or Scratching can break the skin, therefore, allowing bacteria to enter and cause infection.
- Very itchy eczema can cause sleep disturbance.
- In persons with who darker skin, inflammation from eczema may leave dark marks that can lastsr for months.
- Some people who have eczema avoid social activities because they are self-conscious and/or uncomfortable.
What Can Prevent Eczema?
Avoid, whenever possible, whatever triggers the rash.
Also, you may see some home remedies for other ideas on preventing eczema flares.
Can Eczema Be Cured?
There is currently no cure for eczema. But, good skin care and proper treatment can often minimize or control symptoms.
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