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How to Deal with Eczema
Eczema is a dry skin condition that happens commonly among children. There are different degrees by which someone is affected and the only good news is that it is not contagious.
When you do have it, your skin will not only look dry but also itchy and red. In severe cases, there may be bleeding, crusting and weeping.
So how do we treat eczema? The first thing you have to do to prevent it from getting worse is not to scratch it because constant scratching causes the skin to bleed and split making it vulnerable to infection. Should this happen to you, there are oral and topical antibiotics available that can kill the bacteria.
Since this is easier said than done, you should apply creams and lotions over the affected area to keep the skin moist. The best time to apply it to the skin is after bathing so the moisture from the bath is still locked into the skin.
Another option is to apply cold compress. If this still does not work, then you can go to the drug store and apply nonprescription corticosteroid creams and ointments that are designed to reduce inflammation.
If the nonprescription corticosteroid creams and ointments are not effective, then it is time to try those that are prescribed by the doctor. You should know that there are some side effects and to prevent this from happening, you must limit the length of treatment time and the locations where this will be applied. Instead of topical prescribed medication, the doctor may even give you oral corticosteroids.
The creams and ointments mentioned will not be able to help if you have severe itching. For that, doctors will recommend sedative antihistamines that are available in both prescription and over-the-counter varieties. Since drowsiness is a common side effect, this is usually given during the evening so you will be able to get a good night’s sleep.
For those who want to use something else, they can try tar treatments and phototherapy. The only problem with tar treatments is the fact that it is messy.
The last resort for eczema treatment if nothing seems to work is a drug called cyclosporine A. This is designed to modify the body’s immune response at a price because it is known to have serious side effects.
But for people who are suffering from atopic dermatitis which is another form of eczema, there are two topical medications to choose from that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These are namely tacrolimus and pimecrolimus which belong to a class of drugs called calcineurin inhibitors which work by modulating the immune response. The best part is that there are no side effects even during long term use.
Can eczema be prevented? The answer is yes. If you have children, make sure they are wearing breathable clothes like those made of cotton, use mild soaps when they bathe, keep their room clean from dust mites and avoid sudden temperature changes.
Eczema can happen at any age. Studies have shown that there are 15 million people in this country who have one form or another. The good news is that there is eczema treatment available. If over the counter creams, ointments and medications don’t work, consult with your dermatologist so something stronger can be given.
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