Eczema is a group of conditions that cause inflammation of the skin. It is a chronic problem for many people. Typically, chronic eczema causes skin to become itchy, red, and dry, even cracked and leathery.
Here are the treatments for chronic eczema:
- Soap and moisturizer. Use a mild soap or soap substitute that won't dry your skin. You’ll also want a good moisturizer in cream, lotion, or ointment form. Smooth it on right after a shower or bath, as well as one other time each day.
If your eczema is severe, you may find that it helps to take baths with a small amount of bleach added to the water. That kills bacteria that live on the skin of people with eczema.
- Short, warm showers. Don’t take very hot or very long showers or baths. They can dry out your skin.
- Stress management. Get regular exercise and set aside time to relax.
- Get a humidifier. Dry air can be stressful for your skin.
If you need meds to treat your eczema, those may include:
- Hydrocortisone. Over-the-counter cream or ointment versions of it may help mild eczema. If yours is severe, you may need a prescription dose.
- Antihistamines. Ones you take by mouth are available over-the-counter and may help relieve symptoms.
- Corticosteroids. Your doctor may prescribe these if other treatments don’t work. Always follow your doctor's directions when taking steroids by mouth.
- Ultraviolet light therapy. This may help if your skin condition is severe.
It can be hard to tell for sure if you have eczema. You’ll want to see a dermatologist or other doctor to find out.
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