Do you have skin dryness, redness, and even oozing or crusting of sores on your skin? That might be eczema.
There are several eczema treatments available. The goals of the therapy include reducing symptoms of redness and dryness, and prevent exacerbation.
Let’s learn about some lifestyle modifications and some common eczema cures, used to get rid of your symptoms.
How to Cure Eczema
Here’s a list of some lifestyle changes that can help you relieve the symptoms, followed by a few more medical eczema treatments.
1. Avoid the Triggers
Did you know your skin is the largest organ in your body? Just like your brain and heart, you need to take care of it to keep it healthy.
Eczema can be triggered by a variety of external and internal stressors. Knowing what the triggers are can help prevent future symptoms.
A few common causes of eczema are:
- Excessive bathing without appropriate moisturization.
- Low humidity in the air (what’s the best humidity level in the house?)
- Overheating of the skin (hot baths, hot packs)
- Emotional stress
- Certain types of detergents or soaps
- Dry skin
2. Avoid Allergens
Whether or not exposure to certain types of food or allergens causes eczema is still up for debate. Some people swear certain foods are related to their eczema, while other have not been able to find a connection.
One thing the experts do agree on, is that exposure to the following allergens has shown to increase the risk of eczema flares:
- Dust mites
- Animal hair
Individuals who have sensitive skin may want to choose skin care products that are free of fragrances, artificial colors, and preservatives, as these can irritate the skin and cause an eczema flare.
Avoiding all these factors isn’t really a treatment for eczema, but is a great way to prevent it. Or at least to not aggravate it.
3. Skin Hydration
Proper skin care is a key component to the overall management of eczema.
Not all lotions are created equal!
Lotions that have high water and low oil content can actually make your dry skin worse!
How? The water in the lotion evaporates, taking some of your skin’s natural moisture with it.
The opposite is true for lotions that have a high oil content and low or zero water content.
- Petroleum jelly
have zero water content and work great for eczema. To optimize your skin care, apply one of these products to your skin twice a day, and after bathing or hand-washing.
A typical over the counter cream used as eczema treatment for babies is called Aveeno. You have probably heard of it, or at least seen it at the pharmacy. It claims to reduce the 4 symptoms of eczema: redness, itchiness, dryness and irritation.
I’d definitely recommend it, it’s a good one for little kids.
4. Control the Itching
Scratching at eczema rashes can injure the skin and leave it prone to infections.
Antihistamines are a commonly used class of medication to help reduce the feelings of itchiness. They are not a direct treatment for eczema, but they sure do help with the symptoms!
One of the down sides of antihistamines is that they can be sedating. The following antihistamines are the ones least likely to cause sedation:
Even though these drugs are less likely to make you sleepy, make sure you know how they affect you before you drive or operate heavy machinery. Antihistamines can also cause constipation and dry mouth, so stay hydrated.
5. Topical Steroids
Steroids are known for decreasing inflammation and blunting the body’s response to things like allergens and antibodies. Putting them on your dry and itchy skin will help cure eczema.
For patient with mild symptoms, a low potency topical steroid is a great eczema treatment:
- Triamcinolone 0.025% (Kenalog)
- Hydro-cortisone <2 % (Hytone)
- Desonide 0.05% (DesOwen)
- Betamethasone 0.1% (Beta-Val)
These eczema creams can be used once or twice a day in conjunction with lotion. You can use them for up to 4 weeks.
For patients with moderate symptoms, try a moderate potency topical treatment:
- Triamcinolone 0.1%
- Fluocinonide 0.05% (Lidex-e)
- Amcinonide 0.1% (Amcort)
- Diflorasone 0.05% (Florone)
These can only be used for a max of 2 weeks on most parts of your body, but only 5-7 days on your face and neck.
They are so strong that they can cause your skin to atrophy and break down over time.
So only use them according to your physician’s instructions.
Remember to wash your hands when you are done applying the steroid product and keep them out of each of children.
6. Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors
Non-steroid immunomodulators help suppress your body’s inclination to cause an eczema flare. The two main topical drugs in this class are Tacrolimus and Pimecrolimus. These are expensive and your physician will have to write a prescription.
WARNING: Concerns raised by the FDA note a possible association to cancer after use of these drugs, specifically lymphoma and skin cancer. Long term safety concerns are currently being evaluated.
Ultraviolet light therapy is a treatment for moderate and severe eczema, and the eczema that is not being controlled with topical therapy. Photo-therapy is usually administered 2-3 times a week, and only approved for adults.
Patients can continue using topical products, in addition to photo-therpay as a treatment for eczema.
8. Oral Cyclosporine
Cyclosporine is another immunomodulator that stops your white blood cells from attacking your skin. It is only prescribed to patients who have failed other therapies and is given in short bursts, usually about 6 weeks at a time.
Cyclosporine has a lot of side effects, so make sure you talk to your physician about all the other medications you take, your complete medical history, and vaccine history.
We invite you to share the best eczema treatment that you have received so far. Did you have to use one of these listed in the article?