Eczema is an inflammatory reaction of the skin, which is characterized by; edema, erythema, papules, crusting, and scaling of the skin. There are different types of eczema which relate to their causes such as; nummular eczema which results from skin injury due to insect bites and burns, contact dermatitis which happens after contact with a rash-causing thing, seborrheic dermatitis which occurs in body areas with lots of oil; atopic dermatitis is due to weakened skin protection from irritants and allergens, dyshidrotic eczema which is due to dampness and allergies and stasis dermatitis which is due to poor blood flow especially to the lower legs. Most of the eczema types are common in children and resolves towards adulthood.
Treatments for eczema
Prescription topical treatments
These are medications that are applied to the skin to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms such as redness and itching. They include steroids, PDE4 inhibitors, and calcineurin inhibitors.
These are systemic medications that help suppress and control the immune system hence reducing symptoms of severe eczema. Research shows that the immune system overreacts and produces inflammation in eczema, which leads to symptoms such as redness, itching, and skin barrier issues. Examples of immunosuppressants are; methotrexate and cyclosporine.
Over the counter treatment
These are medications used to help skin symptoms, moisturizing the skin, and cleaning the skin to prevent infection. They can be bought without a doctor’s prescription in pharmacies.
This refers to the use of Ultraviolet light to the skin, which increases vitamin D production, reduces itching and inflammation, and increases bacteria-fighting systems in the skin. Commonly used type of phototherapy is the narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) light, which uses a special machine.
These are drugs that contain genetically engineered proteins from human genes and are intravenously administered to specific parts of the immune system that trigger inflammation.
Complementary and alternative therapies
Complementary and alternative therapies such as supplements and plant-based topicals like coconut oil have been shown to be beneficial in controlling the symptoms of eczema.
Skincare in eczema
The use of moisturizers helps reduce irritation by avoiding drying up of the skin. It helps the skin barrier keep irritants and allergens out and moisture in.
Bathing in warm water with vinegar, baking soda and salt added helps to calm the symptoms of eczema
Use of cotton, loose-fitting clothes, and beddings helps in avoiding skin irritation and hence calming the skin.
Getting adequate sleep and addressing worries help improve the skin since there is a connection between the skin and mind.
Changing dietary habits by eliminating allergic foods such as eggs and increased fluid intake helps correct dry skin and other symptoms.
Use of humidifiers helps in keeping one’s skin more hydrated, thus avoiding flare-ups.
The use of the above medications and skincare practices have shown positive results in the management and treatment of eczema. Some of the medications have several side effects, which one should have knowledge about before use. Consulting a dermatologist should be of importance in cases of severe eczema and complications during treatment.