TREATMENT OF ECZEMA
Having eczema does not mean you have to suffer with dry, itchy, sensitive skin.
There are certainly measures we can take together that can reduce and even eliminate your symptoms. Many people have already tried numerous different products for their eczema, including over the counter medications and prescription medications from their primary care physicians. Some patients even try more alternative or homeopathic remedies, and still, many patients are frustrated with the results. Patients often complains that the medications either don't work, are too messy, are too expensive, or cause side effects with which they are unhappy. We want to find the regimen that works for you, but it's equally important for you to learn about the treatment of eczema so that you can arm yourself with the right information to care for your child's or your own skin.
The first thing you can do is to follow our instructions on how to care for dry, sensitive skin. This link will guide you through some basic measures you can take to reduce your symptoms.
Together, we will formulate a plan for your eczema that is right for you. Here are a few of the things we can discuss:
- Moisturizing creams or ointments: These help keep your skin hydrated, and in many cases, they can repair the damaged skin barrier. There are some over the counter favorites that we recommend, and there are also prescription emollients that help in more severe cases.
- Steroid creams and ointments: These are prescription creams that include a topical cortisone to help reduce inflammation. The steroid in these is different than the steroid athletes use to build muscles. When applied to the skin, they relieve itching and redness by decreasing the inflammation in the skin. When used appropriately, these are wonderful tools in the management of eczema.
- Non-steroid prescription creams: Some of these medications decrease the inflammation by decreasing the immune system in the skin only. They may be good alternatives to steroids in people who cannot seem to go without a steroid cream or in areas of the skin that are thinner and more delicate.
- Systemic steroids: We may use these in very severe cases. We really try to minimize these, because systemic steroids go all through the body, and when used long-term, they have side effects we wish to avoid. However, if they are appropriate for a short-term course, they can help reduce symptoms.
- Medicines that change the way the immune system works: These medications are reserved for people who do not get better with more conservative options. They can work wonderfully to calm down the inflammation in the skin, but they have significant side effects and warrant a discussion with us.
- Light therapy: Light therapy can also work really well to reduce the redness, itch, and inflammation in the skin. When skin is exposed to ultraviolet light, the light alters the immune function of the skin cells without affecting the body's immunity. It can cause darkening and aging of the skin, and it does slightly increase the risk of skin cancer, but for some patients it helps reduce the need for other medications.
Schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to find the treatment that is most appropriate for you.
Learn more about eczema: