Eczema Treatment

Other Skin Conditions, Skin Center
on January 26, 2012

Eczema treatment is foremost on the minds of those dealing with the disorder. Learn how to ease the symptoms and treat the condition. Several options are available, as this disorder is so common. As always, seek medical advice from your doctor before beginning any treatment option.

After the diagnosis. Once your qualified physician has examined you, reviewed your medical history and properly diagnosed you, it is time to embark on a management plan. Eczema is a chronic condition and probably will not go away completely. This skin disorder tends to come and go in flares. The good news is there have never been more options for treatment and symptom relief than now.

Treatment options. According to the Mayo Clinic, treatments aim to reduce the inflammation of the skin, reduce and prevent itching, and lessen the chances of flare-ups.

Medication for eczema. Doctors will recommend a series of options for treatment. Usually the least invasive, least expensive measures are the first line of care. Some medications are:

  • Corticosteroids ointments and creams — Over-the-counter and prescription corticosteroids medication is easy to apply to the skin. The medication may ease eczema itching, scaling and rashes.
  • Oral or injectable corticosteroids — In more severe eczema, the doctor may try oral or injectable corticosteroids. This more invasive method of delivering the medication is often effective in managing inflammation and symptoms. The long-term use is not recommended due to the associated, serious side effects. Over time, the continued use of corticosteroids may lead to thinning of the skin, high blood pressure, loss of bone, cataracts, decreased immune response and muscle weakness.
  • Antihistamines — The medication you buy at the local drug store or grocery store is also useful in treating eczema. Antihistamines like diphenhydramine can subdue the signs of eczema, but they should be used at bedtime since they can make you sleepy.
  • Antibiotics — An unpleasant side effect of eczema is a propensity for bacterial infections of the skin. Itching and the disorder itself can cause openings in the skin that make it vulnerable to invasive bacteria. Antibiotics reduce the bacteria and lessen the chance of reoccurrence.
  • Immunomodulators — The last line of medication-related treatment is immunomodulating drugs. These medications work on the problematic immune system response. Tacrolimus and pimecrolimus can help to maintain normal skin texture, reduce flares and eliminate uncomfortable symptoms. They should be used as a last resort when other treatments have failed.

Phototherapy. If medications aren’t working or you wish to try another type of eczema treatment, many turn to light therapy. Light therapy or phototherapy, is the controlled exposure of the skin to natural sunlight or various ultraviolet light.