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Category Archives: Eczema
Posted: December 16, 2017 at 7:41 pm
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It’s common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever.
No cure has been found for atopic dermatitis. But treatments and self-care measures can relieve itching and prevent new outbreaks. For example, it helps to avoid harsh soaps, moisturize your skin regularly, and apply medicated creams or ointments.
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) signs and symptoms vary widely from person to person and include:
Atopic dermatitis most often begins before age 5 and may persist into adolescence and adulthood. For some people, it flares periodically and then clears up for a time, even for several years.
See a doctor if you or your child:
Seek immediate medical attention for your child if the rash looks infected and he or she has a fever.
Healthy skin helps retain moisture and protects you from bacteria, irritants and allergens. Eczema is related to a gene variation that affects the skin’s ability to provide this protection. This allows your skin to be affected by environmental factors, irritants and allergens.
In some children, food allergies may play a role in causing eczema.
The primary risk factor for atopic dermatitis is having a personal or family history of eczema, allergies, hay fever or asthma.
Complications of atopic dermatitis (eczema) may include:
The following tips may help prevent bouts of dermatitis (flares) and minimize the drying effects of bathing:
Try to identify and avoid triggers that worsen the condition. Things that can worsen the skin reaction include sweat, stress, obesity, soaps, detergents, dust and pollen. Reduce your exposure to your triggers.
Infants and children may experience flares from eating certain foods, including eggs, milk, soy and wheat. Talk with your child’s doctor about identifying potential food allergies.
Take a bleach bath. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends considering a bleach bath to help prevent flares. A diluted-bleach bath decreases bacteria on the skin and related infections. Add 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) of household bleach, not concentrated bleach, to a 40-gallon (151-liter) bathtub filled with warm water. Measures are for a U.S.-standard-sized tub filled to the overflow drainage holes.
Soak from the neck down or just the affected areas of skin for about 10 minutes. Do not submerge the head. Take a bleach bath no more than twice a week.
July 25, 2017
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Atopic dermatitis (eczema) Symptoms – Mayo Clinic
Posted: at 7:41 pm
Chances are, youre here to look for answers about eczema (eg-zuh-MUH)and find support.
You might have first noticed an itchy, red patch on your babys cheeks, chin, or chest that she or he scratched until it became even more irritated. Sound familiar? Or maybe you experienced something similar on your own neck, inner elbows, or behind your knees.
Eczema can appear anywhere on the body
Thats probably when you made an appointment with your doctor, who looked at it, talked to you about your symptoms, asked you questions about your family history and the types of products you use on your skin and in your home. Then your doctor told you it was eczema.
So what exactly is eczema? Who can get it and why? And what should you do, now that you or your child has been diagnosed?
Learning more about what kind of eczema you have and what may have triggered it, is the best starting point to treating and managing it, so that your eczema doesnt get in the way of your everyday life.
The good news is youve come to the right place. Were here to help guide you with all of the tools and support youll need every step of the way.
Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. There are eight types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, hand eczema, lichen simplex chronicus, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and stasis dermatitis.
Eczema is very common. And in many cases, its also manageable. In fact, over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema.
Eczema flares often show up on the backs of the knees
Living with eczema can be an ongoing challenge. The word eczema is derived from a Greek word meaning to boil over, which is a good description for the red, inflamed, itchy patches that occur during flare-ups. Eczema can range from mild, moderate, to severe.
Its most common for babies and children to develop eczema on their face (especially the cheeks and chin), but it can appear anywhere on the body and symptoms may be different from one child to the next. More often than not, eczema goes away as a child grows older, though some children will continue to experience eczema into adulthood.
Adults can develop eczema, too, even if they never had it as a child.
Eczema is not contagious. You cant catch it from someone else. While the exact cause ofeczema is unknown, researchers do know that people who develop eczema do so because of a combination of genes and environmental triggers. When an irritant or an allergen switches on the immune system, skin cells dont behave as they should causing an eczema flare-up.
There is no cure for eczema but there are treatments. Depending on age and eczema severity, these treatments include over-the-counter (OTC) remedies, prescription topical medications, phototherapy, immunosuppressants, and biologic drugs. Many people with eczema also find success with specificnatural and alternative treatments.
For most types of eczema, managing flares comes down to these basics:
The most important thing to remember is that eczema and its symptoms are different for everyone. Your eczema may not look the same on you as it does on another adult, or on your child. It may even appear in different areas of the body at different times.
Eczema is usually itchy
Eczema is usually itchy. For many people, the itch is usually only mild, or moderate. But in some cases it can become much worse and you might develop extremely inflamed skin. Sometimes the itch gets so bad that people scratch it until it bleeds, which can make your eczema worse. This is called the itch-scratch cycle.
What to look for:
You might have all of these symptoms of eczema or only just a few. You might have some flare ups or your symptoms could go away entirely. But the only way to know if you have eczema for sure, is to visit your doctor so he or she can look at your skin and ask you about your symptoms.
Eczema is a general term for dermatitis, which simply means inflammation of the skin. All types of eczema cause itching and redness and some will blister, weep or peel.
Atopic dermatitis on the ankles and feet of an adult
There are eight types of eczema in all. Atopic dermatitis is a severe and chronic (long-lasting) form of eczema. It is caused by a combination of genes and an environmental trigger such as an irritant or allergen.
The term eczema is often used interchangeably with atopic dermatitis. However, each type of eczema, including atopic dermatitis, has somewhat different triggers, symptoms and treatments. Thats why its important to know which type or types (since a person can have more than one type at the same time) you have, so that you are best able to manage it.
See more here:
Eczema Symptoms | Causes | Treatments | Types | Triggers
Posted: December 13, 2017 at 9:41 pm
What Is Eczema?
Eczema is a descriptive term for a chronic skin condition that usually begins in early childhood. It is seen most commonly in individuals who have family members who have asthma and hay fever. This is not to say that eczema is a classical allergic disease. There seems to be general agreement that this condition is inherited because of the complete loss or relative lack of a skin protein.
There are criteria that must be met before the diagnosis of eczema is considered. In most patients, the condition began in childhood. Patients develop plaques of weeping, oozing skin that are very itchy. A personal or family history of eczema, asthma, and/or inhalant allergies is helpful. In older children or adults, the lesions of eczema tend to occur in the folds of the skin in front of the elbows and in the folds of skin behind the knees. Eczema tends to improve in most patients as they get older.
The belief that the cause of eczema seems to be a defect in the production of a particular skin protein (filaggrin) is currently quite popular. All of the other problems that seem to be present in those afflicted include dry skin, hyper-reactivity to wool, itching during sweating, colonization by pathogenic staph bacteria, predisposition to disseminated herpes simplex infections, and a variety of immunologic abnormalities.
There is a debate about which comes first in atopic eczema, the itching or the rash. This is analogous to the chicken and egg controversy. It really does not matter. When the rash is in an acute stage, it is weepy and oozy. Later after the patient has been rubbing and scratching for some weeks, it becomes a plaque of thickened skin. This is called lichenification.
Atopic eczema has a typical distribution on the surface of the skin; this can be quite helpful in making the correct diagnosis. In crawling children in diapers, the rash is frequently seen on the elbows and knees but spares the diaper area. In older children and adults, the rash is often present in the folds of skin opposite to the elbow and kneecap but spares the armpits. Other areas commonly involved include the cheeks, neck, wrists, and ankles.
Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is one of a number of eczematous eruptions that need to be distinguished. This is important because treatment depends on the correct diagnosis. We’ll take a look at the listed types on the following slides.
Atopic eczema is an inherited skin condition more common in individuals with a personal or family history of eczema, inhalant allergies like asthma or hay fever. Patients develop weeping, oozing, itchy lesions in a characteristic distribution. The severity depends to a great extent on the amount of moisture in the skin.
Atopic eczema is less common in very humid environments and is harder to control in arid areas in the wintertime. It often begins in infancy and improves in most people as they reach adulthood.
Contact dermatitis is a dermatitis that occurs in response to exposure to an irritant or allergenic substance. Irritants cause skin damage by producing direct toxic damage to the skin cells. Contact allergens are not necessarily irritating or toxic but are recognized by the immune system. Once the immune response is stimulated, a dermatitis occurs at the site of exposure.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic recurrent dermatitis, and it is probably the most common of all rashes in adults. The rash characteristically appears on the scalp, forehead, brows, ears, the folds that extend from the nose to the lips (nasolabial folds), middle of the chest, and middle of the back. It occurs in infants as cradle cap. Its course is distinguished by periods of improvement followed by flares.
With nummular eczema, round plaques of eczematous skin often appear on the lower legs. It often is seen in the elderly and seems to be associated with dry skin.
Lichen simplex chronicus is a localized, thickened area of skin caused by itching and rubbing. Although there is usually some inciting cause, the origin of the problem is entirely obscured by the eruption. Any of the eczematous eruptions can evolve into lichen simplex chronicus if rubbed long enough.
Stasis dermatitis usually occurs on the lower legs of patients who have sustained damage to the valves present in the large veins responsible for returning blood to the heart. These valves, along with muscular contractions of the leg muscles, help propel venous blood from the periphery to the lungs and heart. Damage to these valves causes a long column of blood to produce enough hydrostatic pressure on the wall of the vein so small leaks occur. The lower legs swell and brownish blood pigment is deposited in the skin from degradation of hemoglobin. A dermatitis often occurs, and skin ulcers are common.
Dyshidrotic eczema (pompholyx) is a common but poorly understood condition in which very itchy small blisters occur on the lateral surface of the fingers, toes, hands, and feet. Many patients note exacerbations during periods of high stress (for example, finals week).
In order to make an accurate diagnosis of eczema, it is important for your physician to take a complete history and examine all of the areas of skin that are affected. Occasionally, certain laboratory tests can be helpful in distinguishing various types of eczema. A pathologist may need to examine skin scrapings and even a small piece of biopsied skin.
Once the diagnosis of atopic eczema is established, there are certain well-established approaches to treating this condition. One of the most important is to keep the skin well moisturized. There are many inexpensive approaches to maintaining the moisture content of the skin. Once the skin is wet, a thin layer of a cream or ointment is applied to prevent the moisture from evaporating. Judicious use of such substances (emollients) can be very effective in limiting flares of atopic eczema.
Corticosteroid creams are very effective at controlling the inflammatory component of atopic eczema. The thickened, itchy, weepy lesions respond well to the applications of such creams. In addition, oral antihistamines are effective in suppressing the itching sensation as well as acting as a sleep aid during flares.
Newer drugs have become available for the treatment of atopic eczema; they claim to be devoid of the side effects of topical steroids. These newer medications inhibit the immune response by inhibiting calcineurin, an enzyme necessary for a normal inflammatory response. Though they are quite effective, they are also quite expensive and seem to lack potency when compared to the strongest topical steroids. Ultraviolet light exposure can effectively control eczema in certain patients because of its effect on inflammatory cells in the skin.
Applying a good moisturizer to damp skin is the most effective method for limiting flares of atopic eczema. Try the measures listed on this and the following slide to control and help prevent outbreaks of eczema.
Since the condition is inherited, it would be very difficult to prevent its development entirely. Living in a warm, humid environment seems to limit flares of atopic dermatitis. Sleeping with a humidifier in the bedroom can be of some help. In some patients, adding chlorine bleach to bathwater can be quite helpful (1/2 cup of bleach to a bathtub of warm water). It is important to rinse off before applying an emollient.
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Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Posted: at 9:41 pm
How do dermatologists diagnose dyshidrotic eczema?
When dyshidrotic eczema (DE) flares, a dermatologist can diagnose it by looking at your skin.
Your dermatologist will also ask about your medical history, work, hobbies, and recent stress level.
If your dermatologist thinks that the DE could be due to an allergy, an allergy test called patch testing may be recommended. During patch testing, small amounts of substances that you may be allergic to are placed on your skin often the skin on your back.
Your treatment plan will be designed to treat your signs and symptoms. You may be responsible for doing much of the treatment at home. It is important to carefully follow your treatment plan, which may include several of the following:
After each soak or cool compress, youll likely need to apply a medicated cream or ointment, such as a corticosteroid.
Having an infection can stop DE from clearing.
In one study, researchers found that about 33% of patients who had DE on their hands got rid of the DE only after treating an infection on their feet.
If the above treatments fail to work or you have severe DE, your dermatologist may recommend one of the following:
Botulinum toxin is FDA approved to treat wrinkles and excessive sweating in the underarms but not DE. Its legal to prescribe a medicine for a condition other than its FDA-approved use. This is called off-label use, which can be very helpful for some patients.
Its extremely important to get these treatments at a hospital, clinic, or your dermatologists office. Trying to treat your skin by using a tanning bed is not recommended.
Eliminating foods that contain nickel or cobalt helps some people.
Many foods contain nickel or cobalt. If you are allergic to either, your dermatologist can tell you how to change your diet.
Other treatments than the ones listed here can also be helpful. Your dermatologist can tell you what treatment may be best for you.
Some people have one mild outbreak that clears without treatment. Its much more common to have flares throughout your life. Treatment can help control DE, which cannot be cured.
References:Egan CA Rallis TM, et al. Low-dose oral methotrexate treatment for recalcitrant palmoplantar dyshidrotic dermatitis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999;40(4):612-14.Gerstenblith MR, Antony AK, et al. Pompholyx and eczematous reactions associated with intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012;66(2):312-6. Habif TP, Campbell JL, et al. Pompholyx (card #16). Dermatology DDxDeck. Mosby 2006.Klein AW. Treatment of dyshidrotic hand dermatitis with intradermal botulinum toxin. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004:50(1):153-4.Miller JL, Hurley HJ. Diseases of the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, et al, eds. Dermatology. Mosby Elsevier 2008. p. 543.Peterling H, Breuer C, et al. Comparison of localized high-dose UVA1 irradiation versus topical cream psoralen-UVA for treatment of chronic vesicular dyshidrotic eczema. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;50(1):68-72.Schnoop C, Remling R, et. al. Topical tacrolimus (FK506) and mometasone furoate in treatment of dyshidrotic palmar eczema: A randomized, observer-blinded trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;46(1):73-7.
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Dyshidrotic eczema | American Academy of Dermatology
Posted: at 9:41 pm
Oxyvectin is one of the most powerful eczema treatments available to fight and put an end to eczema. By attacking eczema from the inside out, this all-natural, dermatologist-recommended eczema pill cleanse the body and then replenishes it with gentle remedies to fight eczema fast. Unlike other eczema treatments that come in the form of a lotion or cream, Oxyvectin comes in capsule form and treats eczema at the source. Oxyvectin boasts an all-natural formula that doesnt contain harsh chemicals that can damage the skin more than healing and helping it.
Oxyvectin contains herbal ingredients like zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, spinach juice, ginger root, cayenne pepper, etc. to rid the body of the harmful environmental toxins that can cause your eczema. By cleansing the body internally and getting rid of the toxins that trigger allergic reactions on your skin, your body is less likely to react and eczema ultimately becomes easier to prevent. Oxyvectin is 100% safe and side-effect free and will not only treat your existing eczema, but keep it from coming back in the future, and the best part is, this products 100% guarantee allows you to try it completely risk free! Read more…
Posted: at 9:41 pm
Atopic dermatitis, commonly referred to as eczema, is a chronic skin disorder categorized by scaly and itching rashes. People with eczema often have a family history of allergic conditions like asthma, hayfever or eczema.
Eczema is most common in infants (where it is known as infantile eczema) and at least half of those cases clear by age 3. In adults, it is generally a chronic or recurring condition.
A hypersensitivity reaction (similar to an allergy) occurs in the skin, causing chronic inflammation. The inflammation causes the skin to become itchy and scaly. Chronic irritation and scratching can cause the skin to thicken and have a texture like leather. Exposure to environmental irritants can worsen symptoms, as can dryness of the skin, exposure to water, temperature changes, and stress.
Studies have shown that children who are breast-fed are less likely to get eczema. This is also true when the nursing mother has avoided cow’s milk in her diet. Other dietary restrictions may include eggs, fish, peanuts, and soy.
Eczema tends to run in families. Control of stress, nervousness, anxiety, and depression can be beneficial in treating/avoiding eczema in some cases.
Diagnosis is primarily based on the appearance of the skin and on personal and family history. The health care provider should examine the lesions to rule out other possible causes. A skin lesion biopsy may be performed, but is not always required to make the diagnosis.
Call and make an appointment with your health care provider if your eczema does not respond to moisturizers or avoiding known allergens, if your symptoms worsen, if treatment is ineffective, or if signs of infection (such as fever, redness, pain) occur.
Consult your health care provider for a diagnosis of eczema because it can be difficult to differentiate from other skin disorders. Treatment should be guided by the health care provider.
Treatment may vary depending on the appearance (stage) of the lesions — acute “weeping” lesions, dry scaly lesions, or chronic dry, thickened lesions are each treated differently.
Anything that aggravates the symptoms should be avoided whenever possible, including any food allergens and irritants such as wool and lanolin.
Dry skin often makes the condition worse. When washing or bathing, keep water contact as brief as possible and use less soap than usual. After bathing, it is important to trap the moisture in the skin by applying lubricating cream on the skin while it is damp. Temperature changes and stress may cause sweating and aggravate the condition.
Treatment of weeping lesions may include soothing moisturizers, mild soaps, or wet dressings.
Mild anti-itch lotions or topical corticosteroids (low potency) may soothe less severe or healing areas or dry scaly lesions.
Chronic thickened areas may be treated with ointments or creams that contain tar compounds, corticosteroids (medium to very high potency), and ingredients that lubricate or soften the skin. Systemic corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation in some severe cases.
The latest treatment for eczema is a class of skin medications called topical immunomodulators (TIMs). These medications are steroid-free. They include tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel). Studies have shown a success rate as high as 80% among patients using these new medications.
Eczema Information from Drugs.com
Posted: at 9:41 pm
No lab test is needed to identify atopic dermatitis (eczema). Your doctor will likely make a diagnosis by examining your skin and reviewing your medical history. He or she may also use patch testing or other tests to rule out other skin diseases or identify conditions that accompany your eczema.
If you suspect a certain food caused your child’s rash, tell the doctor and ask about identifying potential food allergies.
Atopic dermatitis can be persistent. You may need to try various treatments over months or years to control it. And even if treatment is successful, signs and symptoms may return (flare).
It’s important to recognize the condition early so that you can start treatment. If regular moisturizing and other self-care steps don’t help, your doctor may suggest one or more of the following treatments:
Creams that control itching and help repair the skin. Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment. Apply it as directed, after you moisturize. Overuse of this drug may cause side effects, including thinning skin.
Other creams containing drugs called calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel) affect your immune system. They are used by people older than age 2 to help control the skin reaction. Apply it as directed, after you moisturize. Avoid strong sunlight when using these products.
These drugs have a black box warning about a potential risk of cancer. But the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has concluded that the risk-to-benefit ratios of topical pimecrolimus and tacrolimus are similar to those of most other conventional treatments of persistent eczema and that the data don’t support the use of the black box warning.
Light therapy. This treatment is used for people who either don’t get better with topical treatments or who rapidly flare again after treatment. The simplest form of light therapy (phototherapy) involves exposing the skin to controlled amounts of natural sunlight. Other forms use artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and narrow band ultraviolet B (UVB) either alone or with medications.
Though effective, long-term light therapy has harmful effects, including premature skin aging and an increased risk of skin cancer. For these reasons, phototherapy is less commonly used in young children and not given to infants. Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of light therapy.
Treatment for eczema in babies (infantile eczema) includes:
See your baby’s doctor if these measures don’t improve the rash or if the rash looks infected. Your baby may need a prescription medication to control the rash or to treat an infection. Your doctor may also recommend an oral antihistamine to help lessen the itch and to cause drowsiness, which may be helpful for nighttime itching and discomfort.
Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.
To help reduce itching and soothe inflamed skin, try these self-care measures:
Atopic dermatitis can be especially stressful, frustrating or embarrassing for adolescents and young adults. It can disrupt their sleep and even lead to depression. And close family members of people with this condition may face financial, social and emotional problems.
Seek psychological support from counselors, support groups, friends or family.
You’re likely to start by seeing your family or primary care doctor. But in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).
Here’s some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
For atopic dermatitis, some basic questions you might ask your doctor include:
Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions, including:
See more here:
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) – Mayo Clinic
Posted: December 10, 2017 at 6:47 am
For some people with eczema, the regular use of emollients is all that is needed to keep the condition under control.However, for many people there will be a time when a steroid preparation is required as part of their treatment in order to bring an eczema flare under control. Topical steroids are the most common treatment for eczema flares. This is when eczema becomes red, sore and very itchy.Topical steroids are used in short treatment bursts and should be used in conjunction with emollients. Emollients for washing, cleansing and moisturising are essential to a good skin care routine for treating and preventing dry and itchy skin.Emollients need to be used all the time. For more information on emollients click here.What are topical steroids?
Topical means something that is applied to the skin. Steroids are a group of natural hormones, produced in the body by a variety of different glands. They are also produced synthetically as medicines. The topical steroids used for treating eczema are totally different from steroids used in contraceptive pills or for bodybuilding.
Topical steroids are a valuable tool in the management of eczema. They reduce redness and soreness (inflammation) and can be very effective in controlling flare-ups, as they make the skin less itchy and sore, giving it a chance to heal.
Topical steroids are mostly prescribed to treat eczema flares. In this case, you will generally be instructed to apply topical steroid for short bursts of treatment, and then stop or step down use when the eczema flare settles. If you are prescribed a milder steroid you will generally be told to stop after a burst of treatment; but if you are prescribed a stronger steroid, you may be instructed to step down back to lower potency preparations as your eczema flare settles.
Sometimes people with more severe eczema whose eczema flares very frequently are prescribed topical steroids to apply on 2 consecutive days a week on the areas where their eczema usually flares. This is known as weekend therapy and can help to prevent the almost continuous flare cycle, meaning that in the long run less topical steroid would be needed to control the eczema than if each flare were treated as it occurs.
You will generally be advised to apply your topical steroid 12 times a day to areas of active eczema i.e. where it is flaring. (NICE Guidelines for children under 12 years recommend once a day.)
It is important to use the correct amount of topical steroid for your eczema, as instructed by your healthcare professional. Topical steroids should be applied with clean hands so that the skin just glistens. It can sometimes be difficult to judge how much steroid to use and there are guidelines on the amount required to cover body areas that are affected by eczema. These are based on the Finger Tip Unit (FTU), and explained in detail in our fact sheet which you can download as a pdf from the related documents to the right of this page.
There are no standard rules regarding whether to apply a steroid preparation after or before using an emollient. However, whichever order of care you choose it is important to leave as long a period as practical, of around 30 minutes, between the two treatments.
You may be given more than one topical steroid to treat your eczema; for example a milder steroid may be prescribed for the face or genital area and a stronger steroid for other parts of the body. Make sure that you are clear which preparation to use on which part of the body. If in doubt talk to your pharmacist /nurse or contact your doctor.
In the UK topical steroids come as ointments, creams, lotions, scalp applications and impregnated tape/plasters and in four different strengths:
In deciding which type you need, your doctor should take account of your age, the severity of the eczema, where it occurs and any other treatments you are using. Milder preparations are usually used for the face, genital areas or on babies.
The period of time a steroid may be used depends upon the severity of the eczema and the potency of the topical steroid. Your healthcare professional will advise you on this.
Some topical steroids have added ingredients and are sometimes prescribed where eczema is infected.
If you download our topical steroids factsheet look under related documents to the right of this page you will find tables listing the topical steroids currently available in the UK showing their potencies also which ones have added ingredients. Bear in mind that outside the UK treatments with the same or a very similar name may have different active ingredients and be of a different potency.
Topical steroids, used appropriately and under supervision, are a safe and effective treatment for eczema. The likelihood of side effects occurring is directly related to the potency of the preparation, where it is being used, and the condition of the skin on which it is used and the age of the person concerned. All these factors should be taken into consideration when a prescription is given to treat eczema.
Hydrocortisone 0.05%, 0.1%, 0.5% or 1% is extremely unlikely to cause adverse effects and can be used as prescribed on the face and in young children. Be careful not to confuse this with hydrocortisone butyrate, which is a potent topical steroid.
If used inappropriately or over long periods of time, topical steroids can thin the skin; blood vessels may become more prominent, and the skin can lose its elasticity, developing stretch marks. Other possible side effects include increased hair growth of very fine hair and perioral dermatitis (i.e. a spotty rash around the mouth).
Topical steroids have been in widespread use for over 50 years and although side effects can occur, as explained in our fact sheet available to download from the right of this page, this is usually because treatment has been used incorrectly. Under the supervision of a doctor, and used properly and sensibly in combination with good skincare as part of an overall management routine, topical steroids are a valuable treatment for eczema.
Posted: at 6:47 am
What is Eczema?Eczema is a skin condition, which is also referred to as dermatitis. This condition is very common among babies and young children. However, eczema can also affect adults. Those who suffer from eczema experience severe itchiness in the affected area. This itchiness is often so intense that the affected person is unable to control the urge to scratch the area. Constant scratching of the itchy area leads to soreness and bleeding. Such open wounds often become infected and inflamed as well. In some cases, mild eczema persists throughout the person’s life.Such eczema often worsens if the person develops conditions such as hay fever or asthma. It is important to monitor this condition so as to prevent it from becoming very severe. Eczema can be treated effectively by making use of various topical remedies. These remedies include herbs and common household remedies. It is important to keep the affected areas clean and dry so as to prevent complications that could arise due to secondary infections. Symptoms of Eczema Discoloured Patches on the Skin
The affected portions of the skin often become discoloured. In most cases, they become dark brown or red in colour. Eczema often develops on the arms or on the areas behind the knees. These areas often become much darker than the normal skin of the person. Such discoloured patches make the skin look rather unsightly.
Itching is one of the earliest symptoms of eczema. The affected area of the skin becomes extremely itchy and this causes the affected person to suffer from a severe urge to scratch the area. In most cases, this urge is so intense that the patient gives in and scratches the area repeatedly, as a result of which, bleeding takes place. The Mayo Clinic also states the same fact. In most cases, the symptom of itchiness worsens at night and this disturbs the sleep of the patient as well.
The affected portions of the skin often develop numerous bumps, which are red in colour. These bumps are very tiny and often start oozing. They secrete a sticky fluid, which tends to make the affected skin even itchier than before. It is important to keep such skin dry so as to prevent the occurrence of fungal or bacterial infections. When these bumps start drying, they form a crust-like layer on the skin and this crust eventually falls off.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases states that people who have a family history of hay fever or asthma are more likely to suffer from eczema than those who do not have a family history of such problems. This proves that such conditions are hereditary. There is a protein, which is called cytokine. This protein is responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system. When the body is deficient in this protein, the immune system responds to every stimuli and this often triggers outbreaks of eczema.
It has been stated by the ‘National Eczema Association for Science and Education’ that people who are living in cities are more likely to develop eczema than those who live in rural areas. This is because the urban areas are much more polluted than the rural areas and so the skin can react to the pollutants that are present in city air.
Skin irritations often trigger certain types of eczema. In some cases, the skin of the patient does not react immediately to the allergen. It can take up to several months or even a year for such reactions to result in eczema. This has been stated by the American Academy of Dermatology. Common skin irritants include battery acid, nickel and yeast.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. Children are very prone to suffering from this condition. However, adults can also develop atopic dermatitis, especially if they have a family history of hay fever or asthma. Atopic dermatitis causes the patient to develop red rashes on certain portions of the skin. These rashes are extremely itchy and often secrete a sticky fluid. In the later stages of eczema, the affected portions of skin become thick and dry.
Contact dermatitis is a condition, which develops when the skin of the person reacts to certain allergens. Common allergens include detergents and pollutants. The affected skin becomes deep red in colour and swells up as well. Oozing is also a common symptom of contact dermatitis. The affected individual must try to avoid contact with the allergen, in the future.
Such cases of eczema are common in extreme climatic conditions. Very cold weather or very dry weather can cause a person to have an outbreak of seborrheic dermatitis. In most cases, seborrheic dermatitis first affects the scalp of the person and then spreads to the hands and face. The affected portions of skin become extremely itchy. They often become swollen as well and the patient experiences severe burning in the area.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that licorice is an herb that may prove effective in reducing the symptoms of eczema. According to a research study published in Journal of Dermatological Treatment’ in the year 2003, it was observed that using a topical gel containing 2 per cent licorice was helpful in reducing itchiness as well as water blisters associated with eczema over a span of two weeks. According to the lead author M. Saeedi, licorice may prove to be an effective remedy for treating atopic dermatitis. Dr. Linda B. White, author of The Herbal Drugstore’ states that a British research study showed that this herb, when consumed in the form of tea by children, proved to be effective in relieving the symptoms associated with eczema. This effect of licorice on eczema is attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties possessed by it. You can apply licorice gel to the affected areas twice daily for relieving itchiness and inflammation. If you do not have access to licorice gel, you could also soak a soft cloth in licorice tea and apply it to the affected areas.
Chamomile is an herb that may prove effective in treating eczema. MedlinePlus states that chamomile can be applied topically to the affected areas to experience relief from skin conditions such as eczema. According to a research study published in European Journal of Medical Research’, it was observed that using a cream containing chamomile extract was more effective in treating the symptoms of eczema compared to a cream containing 0.5 per cent hydrocortisone. MedlinePlus states that this herb may prove safe when applied to the skin topically, however, avoid using this herb if you have any kind of skin irritation.
Red clover is an herb that is commonly used in the preparation of topical creams for skin conditions such as eczema. Red clover is an herb that possesses high amounts of minerals, isoflavones as well as vitamin C. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that you should apply a cream containing 15 to 20 per cent red clover heads to the affected areas of your skin, if you are suffering from eczema. However, it is important to note that you should avoid applying this herbal cream to cracked skin and avoid using this herb if you suffer from any irritation. Red clover is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, which attribute to the effectiveness of this herb on the symptoms of eczema.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that St. John’s wort may also prove effective in the treatment of eczema, when applied topically to the skin. St. John’s wort is an herb that possesses hypericin, which is a chemical substance that exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center states that a research study conducted on 21 individuals suffering from eczema showed that this herb was effective in relieving the symptoms associated with this condition.
Countries such as India, China and Europe have made use of gotu kola for centuries to treat several skin conditions, including eczema. Western herbalists have also used this herb extensively for treating inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis as well as eczema. This is due to the fact that this herb exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties. Gotu kola is known to contain saponins, which are responsible for healing wounds. The American Cancer Society states that animal studies have shown that saponins are helpful in promoting the production of collagen as well as speeding up healing in the body. To treat eczema with gotu kola, you should prepare gotu kola tea and apply a soft cloth soaked in this tea to the affected areas of your skin. To prepare this tea, add one teaspoon of the dried root of this herb in a cup of water and allow it to steep for around 15 minutes. Wait for the tea to cool and then apply the soaked cloth to the surface of your skin. Apply the cloth over the affected areas twice each day.
Manuka honey is a type of honey that is considered extremely beneficial in treating numerous health ailments, as it possesses antiseptic properties. Manuka honey is known to possess high amounts of methylglyoxal, which is a compound responsible for the antiseptic properties possessed by this home remedy. Manuka honey is considered beneficial in preventing infections in the open wounds, which commonly occur when a person suffers from eczema. According to a research study conducted in the year 2004, it was observed that manuka honey was effective in reducing red and scaly spots that develop due to eczema. Similar to other home remedy, manuka honey is not helpful in curing this condition, but is effective in controlling the symptoms associated with it. Before using manuka honey in the treatment of eczema, it is highly recommended that you consult your physician regarding its appropriate usage.
The University Of Maryland Medical Center states that witch hazel is very effective in curbing the oozing of the blisters. Such oozing is a common symptom, which is associated with eczema. In such cases, it is recommended that you use the liquid form of this herb due to its quick action on the problem. Witch hazel also helps to counter the symptom of itching, which is associated with eczema. It is important to apply this herb to the skin on a regular basis in order to get relief from the symptoms of this condition.
This essential oil must be consumed orally in order for it to be effective in the treatment of this condition. However, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends the consumption of this essential oil only under the guidance of your physician as the oil can cause side effects in the body. The University of Michigan Health System states that the effectiveness of evening primrose oil is due to the fact that it contains gamma-linolenic acid. It has been discovered that most of those who are suffering from eczema are deficient in this acid.
Green tea is extremely effective in the treatment of eczema as it contains antioxidants. Those who are suffering from eczema must consume this tea on a regular basis. It helps to strengthen the immune system and so the body is able to fight against the inflammation more effectively. Make sure to drink this tea at least five or six times each day.
Aloe vera is an ideal remedy in such cases. Most people prefer to use aloe vera gel as a topical lotion. This gel can be applied to the affected areas of your skin. It is important to leave this gel in place for at least a few hours so as to facilitate absorption. The affected people can also consume aloe vera juice internally. This juice has a cooling effect on the body and helps to promote healing. It is a powerful antiseptic and brings about quick healing of the open wounds that develop on the skin due to eczema. Make sure to consult your physician before making use of aloe vera juice or supplements in order to get the accurate dosage.
Eczema is a condition that is associated with inflammation as well as irritation of the surface of your skin. Consuming foods with anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the inflammation associated with eczema. In their book Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide’, authors Larry Trivieri and John Anderson state that symptoms of eczema may occur as a result of deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids and the inclusion of foods containing these nutrients in your diet may prove effective in controlling the symptoms of this condition effectively. Paul Pitchford, author of Healing with Whole Foods’ also states that deterred metabolism of fats may result in skin diseases, including eczema. The National Institutes of Health state that essential fatty acids help in reducing inflammation, thereby treating eczema. Foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids include mackerel, herring, olive oil, salmon, tuna and spirulina.
Consuming enough water is essential when it comes to treating skin conditions such as eczema. Drinking enough water is helpful in flushing out the toxins present in the body and may prevent the occurrence of any infection along with this condition. Make sure to consume about six to eight glasses of water on a daily basis. If you lead a very active life, you must consume more water in order to compensate for the loss of water through sweat.
When it comes to preventing eczema flare-ups, it is crucial that you avoid common allergens that may aggravate the symptoms of this condition. Some of the most common irritants include bubble baths, solvents, wool, nylon, grass, sand and soaps. Pollens, animal dander, house dust mites and certain foods may also trigger symptoms of eczema, in certain individuals. When bathing, it is important that you use warm water and avoid the use of hot water as it can aggravate the skin, thereby worsening the symptoms of eczema.
Vitamin A is a vitamin that is considered effective in boosting the immunity and maintaining as well as repairing damaged skin tissue. Vitamin A is known to exhibit antioxidant properties that help in protecting the skin from damage triggered by harmful free radicals. Skin conditions such as eczema are known to occur as a result of a deficiency of this vitamin. Foods that contain high amounts of this vitamin include broccoli, carrots, apricots, yellow squash, pumpkin, kale and asparagus. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is known to play a crucial role in the execution of almost 300 processes that take place in the body. This vitamin is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help in reducing the symptoms of eczema. Foods that contain high amounts of vitamin C include oranges, lemons, berries and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin D is also known to exhibit antioxidant properties and helps in protecting the skin from damage caused by UV rays. This vitamin is also effective in the treatment of certain symptoms such as itchiness, redness and dryness, which are commonly associated with eczema. Foods that contain high amounts of vitamin D include dairy products, fish oil, eggs and fatty fish. Vitamin E is used extensively in the preparation of topical treatments for eczema as it helps in reducing inflammation and dryness. This is due to the fact that vitamin E exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Foods that contain high amounts of vitamin E include nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grain and legumes.
Benadryl is known to an antihistamine and can be consumed orally as recommended by your physician. Benadryl cream may also be applied to the affected areas of your skin. This antihistamine is considered effective in preventing the occurrence of infections. It helps in drying the wet areas of your skin and reduces inflammation as well as itchiness.
Drugs.com states that dermarest cream possesses hydrocortisone, which is a topical steroid that helps in reducing inflammation, redness as well as itchiness that may occur in different parts of the body. To treat eczema using this topical treatment, apply a thin layer of this cream to the surface of your skin and allow it to dry. However, it is highly recommended that you allow the affected areas to air out and avoid using a bandage. This is due to the fact that covering the affected areas increases the amount of hydrocortisone absorbed by the body, which can trigger several harmful effects. It is highly recommended that you use this topical treatment as prescribed by your physician. It is important to note that if the skin is dry and cracked, you must avoid making use of this cream.