Popular Eczema Treatments

Eczema is a broad term for a number of inflammatory skin diseases with the most prominent being Atopic Dermatitis. Eczema is not curable, so treatments are designed to bring relief or to put the disease into temporary remission. Even the common childhood variety that seems to be outgrown with time leaves a person with tendencies towards several other conditions of the skin and eyes. 

Since symptoms and causes vary it is necessary to define the problem as it affects the patient and seek methods of controlling possible contributing factors. Including stress and allergies. Since the disease is familial in nature it is helpful to access the other members of the family with similar problems. 

As with most conditions, the least invasive and harsh treatments should be considered first, since some of the more severe treatments have side effects and create problems of their own. 

One of the most important factors in the treatment either alone or in combination with other measures is to keep the skin barrier intact. This can be done with ample applications of moisturizers. These are often most effective when applied following a warm bath or soak. Since lotions contain water, they may actually be drying to the skin so it is recommended that ointments be used instead. Although messier, they are preferable for moisturizing. 

Consider stress factors and try to avoid or control them. Practice relaxation and coping exercises to reduce stress and avoid unnecessarily stressful situations when most vulnerable. In more severe situations the services of a doctor or mental health professional may be necessary to reduce these factors. 

Watch for food allergies. Try to eat a basic diet and add back items slowly to see if you can pinpoint the offending item. Suspect items can include nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat and seafood. If the condition does seem to have a large allergic component that you are unable to assess or control, your doctor can perform blood skin or tests to narrow the offending items for you. 

Wear loose fitting breathable clothing to avoid rubbing and excessive sweating that can increase the inflammation and discomfort. 

Try not to scratch or rub the area at any time and learn to recognize the signs of infection. These infections may not be as noticeable at first glance because the skin is already inflamed and hard. They can, however, be dangerous. 

If more natural methods do not keep the condition under control your doctor can prescribe medications. Keep in mind that medications do have side effects and can cause problems of their own. 

The doctor may prescribe cortisone creams but they are potent steroids and can cause problems with long term use. In extreme cases cortisone may be administered in shots or pills. It is important to remember that these are potent drugs and should be used only as directed by a physician. Overuse can be extremely damaging. 

Ultraviolet light is also used in some cases. It should only be used under a doctor’s care and needs to be carefully moderated. 

Tar baths, antibiotics, and antihistamines are sometime used but are limited in their success. Antibiotics are most successful in controlling infections caused by scratching and breaking the skin. Antihistamines cause drowsiness and are therefore somewhat helpful in keeping children from scratching. 

There is a new family of drugs called topical immunomodulators (TIMs). They are non-steroid drugs and do not cause thinning of the skin. They are used with caution because they do suppress the immune system in the skin. They should be used with sun protection. There are two that have been approved by the FDA. They are tacrolimus and pipecuroniums. 

Whatever treatment is decided upon it is important that it fit the severity of the problem and not put undue risk or stress on the patient. As with any treatment it is best to start with the mildest and move toward the more sever as conditions warrant. The most important factor is that the patient gain control of the condition and has an understanding of the causes and interventions that are available. 

Defining Eczema: What it is and How to Treat it

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a condition of the skin which can be triggered by anything that the person touches, or vice-versa. It is skin reaction to an unidentified object that may cause extreme itchiness on the site. Treatment has to be the identification of the source to be able to prescribe the necessary medications. 

Eczema appears anywhere in the body. It gives a feeling of insatiable itchiness, and the only recourse is to scratch. When that happens, the condition might worsen, since the scratching may cause wounds to occur. The skin surfaces may appear cracked, crusted, with blisters, reddened, dry or patchy. 

This condition is an excessive reaction of the immune system of the body. A simple allergen can produce a full-blown response to get rid of it. This overreaction manifests as a very uncomfortable rash and irritation of the nearby skin due to the severe scratching. The skin will become inflamed. 

To prevent episodes of overreactions, you must take care of your immune system. Consult with your dermatologist as to what is the best way to control eczema, as well as prescribe medicines to control them. 

You can strengthen and help to boost your immune system by using the following supplements and foods: 

  • Take a general mineral and mineral product, for supplementation. 
  • Buy EFA’s at a local health food store and take at least 2 tablespoons of essential fatty acids a day, by either EFA oil or fish oil tablets. If you suffer from highly troublesome eczema, you can double the amount to 4 tablespoons. 
  • Try a dietary supplement such as a glyconutrient or beta glucan. 
  • Try to take plenty of vitamin B. Liquid vitamin B is always recommended to assure complete absorption. The liquid B is not digested by the stomach. It is absorbed by the mucous membranes of the mouth. This is very important when you skin is highly stressed. 
  • It often helps to drink green teas, twice a day. The reason for green tea is that often eczema reactions are acidic. 
  • Get into the habit of drinking green or black tea two to three times a day. This contains antioxidants and can soothe the nerves. 

Be sure to wear a sun block in the morning every day. Sun blocks contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Ingredients such as avobenzone, can trigger new flareups. These are often used in chemical sunscreens and should be avoided. 

Use topical ointments and moisturizers that contain essential fatty acids. Some of the ingredients that have EFA’s are triglycerides, coconut oil, oleic acid, linoleic acid, borage oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil and primrose oil. There are others not mentioned here. 

Secrets of Caring for Eczema: Dos and Dont’s

Avoid perfumes, colorings and preservatives

Take care in what products you apply to your child’s skin. Your child’s skin is sensitive and needs to protected from harmful additives that may cause irritation. Generally speaking products containing perfumes, colorings and preservatives will be more likely to irritate the skin and trigger an eczema flare up.

Avoid soaps

Normal soaps are very drying and damaging to sensitive skin. A young child who has no signs of actual dirt on their skin will often only need to be washed with water. However if a cleaner is required choose a non-soap product that has been designed for sensitive skin.

Talk to your child

Having eczema can often make a child feel outcast from other children, especially as they get older. Talking to your child, explaining their condition to them and encouraging them to take an active part in the care of their skin will often help them to cope with their eczema and feel more comfortable being around other children.

When your child starts school it is also advisable to discuss the condition with your child’s teacher. Chances are the teacher will already be familiar with eczema and will be only too happy to help with your child’s care at school and to discuss the condition with the other children.

Diet

Eczema is often triggered by different foods. When introducing new foods to young children it is always advisable to go slowly and monitor the skin as you go to ensure that a new food introduced to the diet does not trigger the eczema.

When older a food diary is often helpful to identify foods that are already in the diet that may be causing a problem. A food that triggers eczema in a young child will not always be a problem forever. It is worth trying the food again several months later to see if the sensitivity is still present.

Supplements

Sometimes it is necessary to add supplements to your child’s diet to help control their symptoms. The most common supplement to be used is an omega 3 supplement that will help to reduce the inflammation as well as the itching and redness.