Eczema is a term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. Here are the best eczema treatments:
- Corticosteroid creams, solutions, foams, and ointments. These treatments can quickly relieve itching and reduce inflammation.
- Barrier repair moisturizers. You can get these over the counter and by prescription. They help lock water into your skin, repair damage, and ease dryness, redness, and itching.
- Corticosteroid pills, liquids, or shots. These powerful drugs help relieve symptoms of severe or hard-to-treat eczema. Because of the risk for side effects such as skin damage and bone loss, you should take them only for a short time.
- Drugs that turn down your immune system, including cyclosporine, methotrexate, and mycophenolate mofetil. They can help people with moderate-to-severe eczema when other treatments haven’t worked. Serious side effects include high blood pressure and kidney problems. You should take these medicines only for a short time to limit the risk for these problems.
- Antibiotics. Scratching damages your skin, which allows bacteria to get under it and cause an infection. These medicines treat bacterial skin infections.
- Antihistamines. When you take them at night, these drugs relieve itching and can help you sleep.
Ultraviolet (UV) light can help treat moderate-to-severe eczema. UV rays help keep the immune system from overreacting. But too much of it can age your skin and raise your risk for skin cancer.
Skin Care at Home
- Bathe only in warm water. Hot water dries out skin. Wash with a gentle cleanser instead of soap. Don't use body scrubbers or washcloths. Pat dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing, and be sure to leave your skin damp.
- Apply moisturizers daily. Do it right after you bathe or wash your hands. Choose fragrance-free moisturizers. Wear cotton gloves to keep yourself from scratching in your sleep.
- Avoid too much bathing and hand washing. It will dry out your skin. Steer clear of alcohol-based hand cleaners, too.
- Limit your contact with skin irritants. Household cleaners, laundry detergents, perfumed soaps, bubble baths, cosmetics, and many other things can make eczema worse. Learn what irritates your skin so you can avoid it.
- Choose cotton clothes that fit comfortably. Wool and synthetic fibers can be irritating. Also, be sure to wash new clothes before you wear them for the first time. Use fragrance-free laundry soap, and rinse your laundry thoroughly.
- Avoid getting overheated. When you’re hot and sweaty, it can trigger itching and scratching. After a workout, rinse off right away in a warm shower.
- Know your triggers. Many people with eczema react to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and mold.
- Ease stress. It can be hard to find time to relax, but lowering your stress level will help you avoid symptom flare-ups.
Please go to your doctor for more advice.
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