There are many things you can do to keep eczema under control. Prevention of flare ups is your first line of defense in eczema treatment. Although there is not much your doctor can do to actually cure the skin disease, because there is no known cure for it today, however, he or she can prescribe certain treatments or medications which can help relieve the symptoms.
For milder cases, there are over-the-counter creams and ointments containing corticosteroids. But for moderate to severe cases, you will need a doctor’s prescription of a stronger variant. For many years now, corticosteroids – a class of steroid hormones produced by the body for stress, immune and inflammatory responses – have been a staple treatment for eczema. If the condition does not respond to topical corticosteroids successfully, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids taken orally or injected into the blood stream.
Because of the side effects brought about by corticosteroids in the treatment of eczema, it was necessary for experts to look for an alternative treatment for the skin disease. Topical immunomodulators do not contain corticosteroids, so corticosteroids-related side effects such as thinning of the skin, dilatation of blood vessels, formation of stretch marks and infections are averted. They work by changing some of the functions of your body’s immune system so that inflammation of the eczematous skin is managed properly. But topical immunomodulators are mostly recommended for a short-term treatment course, application only on skin areas affected by eczema, and not intended to be used on children below 2 years of age or those who are immunocompromised.
Ask anyone afflicted with eczema and he or she will tell you that skin itching may just be the worst symptom to put up with. Scratching the eczematous skin will not help – in fact it will only aggravate the situation by making the inflammation and the itchiness itself even worse. This is where oral antihistamines come to the rescue. Antihistamines are commonly used for the control of allergies; they work by suppressing the action of histamines, which is produced by your body as part of its natural defenses. Oral antihistamines will help relieve itching and can be very useful during night time to help you get some sleep despite of the symptom.
Ultraviolet Light Therapy
Ultraviolet light therapy is often employed for the treatment of various skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo and eczema. The person afflicted with eczema is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light for a certain amount of time, and is usually as part of a total treatment course. Depending on the severity of the case, most patients require 20-30 sessions to see results.
For self-care treatment, moisturizing the eczematous skin well will greatly help in keeping the symptoms at bay – especially itching. Itchiness is achieved when the affected skin gets dry. That is why anyone afflicted with the skin disease is recommended to apply moisturizers 2-3 times a day or even more, depending on certain factors such as the weather. There are a wide variety of moisturizers which you may use.
Usually they are in the form of lotions, ointments, creams and foams. You may also find some moisturizers containing extracts of herbs that are proven effective in relieving inflammation and itchiness. Aloe gel, chamomile, rosemary, witch hazel and walnut leaf extracts are some of the commonly known additives for moisturizers effective for eczema treatment.