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What Kind of Eczema Treatment Can You Expect?

Aug 17, 2007
Eczema, a term used by most people to refer to Atopic Dermatitis, is an incurable disease which affects the skin. Although sure is not a possibility, there are things you can do to control the symptoms.

These things are a combination of medical attention and at home care. It is important for you to see a dermatologist when symptoms first appear as treating as early as possible helps you to keep your symptoms to a minimum and often makes the flare up period much shorter than it would be otherwise.

No matter how much you read about skin conditions, it is important that you understand a doctor diagnosis is important for you to plan the proper care for your condition. Many skin conditions resemble each other, while some are extremely painful and aggravating, others are caused by something else wrong in your body and can be fatal when not treated.

There are also a number of skin conditions that are curable, unlike eczema. A dermatologist can diagnose your skin condition through various tests, allowing him to give you the proper treatment and allowing you to learn the correct way to care for your condition at home.

Your dermatologist will need to know: when the symptoms first appeared in your lifetime; all of the symptoms (itching, pain, blistering, fever, etc); he will also need to know things that seem to make the symptoms worse (such as, whether washing makes the itching worse); whether you family has any history of skin conditions, hay fever, or asthma; and your own medical history.

When visiting the dermatologist, be prepared for him to order a biopsy. This is a normal procedure when dealing with skin conditions and does not necessarily mean that he thinks you have cancer. Do not let yourself stress over this test, especially since stress tends to worsen symptoms. He may also suggest that you have allergy testing done.

Possible Treatments:

Treatments are based on several factors: what kind of eczema you have, how bad it is, your age and medical history, and results of past treatments. Remember that treatment is a way to manage symptoms, not cure the disease. Moisturizing with creams (not most lotions because they can cause even more drying) are usually used with any treatment plan.

Treatment plans are also modified on an individual basis as you and your doctor know and understand more about triggering factors in your case.

First, if the dermatologist finds another condition, such as bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, he will prescribe a medicine to get rid of the infection. Antibiotics will be prescribed for bacterial infections, antiviral are prescribed for viral infections and antifungals will conquer fungal infection.

These may be applied to the skin, taken by mouth, or given in a shot, depending on the type as severity of the infection.

Treatment usually begins with topical medications which may or may not be coupled with antihistamines. Topical treatments are applied to the skin and are usually a cream which comes in a tube.

Most are members of the corticosteroid family of medicine. It is very important, as with any medication, to follow your doctor instructions. Too few applications will not give you much benefit and too many applications can cause thin skin. Some of the corticosteroids include:


The newest form of topical medication is the topical Immunomodulators (TIMs). These do not have steroids in them, so they do not have the problems with thin skin that corticosteroids do. Elidel and Protopic are both TIMs.

If topical medications do not produce acceptable results, you may have to move to another phase of treatment. Other phases include phototherapy, in which you will be treated with UV rays, directed by either laser or sunlamps.

The UV light is focused on the symptomatic area which has had a medication applied to help the process. Beyond phototherapy, you may have to begin systemic treatments. These are medications which are taken into the body, whether by mouth or shot.

You will also find that you have several things you will need to do in your life to help minimize flare ups. Moisturizing, stress relief, avoiding allergens and avoiding irritants are a few of these things.
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