29 March 2011 ~ 0 Comments

What Are Some Treatments For Eczema That I Can Use?

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A doctor usually diagnoses the types of eczema by asking patients about the rash, and by carefully examining the skin before coming up with the appropriate treatment for eczema. The doctor also takes into account the seriousness of the eczema, the patient’s medical history and family health history.

Eczema is an inflammatory skin disease which looks red, swollen and bumpy, then becomes dry and flaky. It feels hot, sore and itchy. The eczema sufferer feels worse when the itch does not stop and the skin hurts after repeated scratching.

Here is a video by Dr. David Hill which will summarize the various causes of eczema and what treatments are available to alleviate the symptoms:

To relieve the itch and pain, the eczema sufferer is encouraged to use the following eczema treatments:

  • For Combating Itchiness

1. Bathe or wash your hands a little less. Of course, if you really need to bathe or wash your hands, please do so. :) I mean it will really be unreasonable to skip bathing and washing your hands entirely. Use cooler water and minimize the usage of soap whenever possible.

2. Avoid using hot water in your shower to stop the itching. Use cold water with ice cubes or menthol to gently run over the affected area to stop the itching. Another alternative would be using mentholated moisturizers like Sarna lotion, because the menthol provides a cooling sensation and it deceives your brain into ignoring the itch.

3. Applying pressure on your affected area. Rather than scratching your skin, just squeeze the area tightly and firmly to stop the itching.

4. Oral antihistamines. They are commonly used in the form of tablets and syrup as treatment for allergic reactions and itchy skin complaints. They fight histamines, which are inflammatory substances naturally produced by the body and reduce the symptoms of eczema.

However, their effectiveness is questionable because the itchiness or inflammation can be caused by other inflammatory substances, not just histamine.

Some types of oral antihistamines may cause a sleepy “hangover” the next day. Thus, always consult the pharmacist or doctor before getting them over the counter.

These four treatments are used to stop the itching. The next issue that you need to take into account is infection. With all those scratching of your eczema, there will be a lot of tiny cracks on your skin which are very susceptible to the growth of bacteria.

  • For Combating Infection

5. Topical Antibiotics. Thankfully, the infection can be easily overcome with over-the-counter topical antibiotic ointments like Bacitracin or Polysporin. Avoid using antibiotics that contain neomycin as it will cause more itching.

Like topical steroids, they should not be used on a long-term basis as it encourages the growth of resistant bacteria. When this happens, application of the antibiotic on the skin may worsen the infection rather than improve it.

  • For Combating Inflammation

6. Topical steroids. They are a group of anti-inflammatory medicaments (corticosteroids) applied to the skin surface in the treatment of eczema. Topical steroids come in four different strengths. The high strength ones can cause skin thinning when used long term.

Like moisturizers, topical steroids come as ointments, creams and lotions that vary in their greasiness. There are also gels for hairy areas like the scalp. The steroids should be applied to active areas that feel rough or raised and look red.

7. Wet dressings. One of the intensive treatments for eczema, wet dressings are used when the eczema is very severe and stubborn to topical treatment. It is safe and effective in bringing quick relief to itchy and inflamed skin.

  • For Combating Dry Skin

8. Moisturizers. A form of topical treatment recommended by doctors, moisturizers improve the hydration of the skin as well as its barrier function. Hence, they should be used frequently especially after bath. The thickest moisturizers like Vaseline, Petrolatum are the most effective. As a general of thumb, the thicker the moisturizer, the better it is. Therefore, refrain from choosing moisturizers which are very thin.

Creams and ointments are good source of moisture. Consider lotions for the cooling effect. Emollients which contain added ingredients such as antiseptics are great for dry skin too. Ask your doctor for the right moisturizer.

Although none of the above-mentioned treatment for eczema will cure eczema, they can certainly treat it. So, do use them!

On the other hand, if you are looking for a more natural approach to keep your eczema symptoms under control, you may want to consider buying the Beat Eczema guide.

Last Updated: 28 March 2011

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