Eczema

Eczema is a chronic condition. Its effects are long lasting. It is slow to response to treatment. The goal of treatment is not necessarily to cure the eczema, but rather, to control the symptoms. Symptoms are usually worse in the cold, dry winter months. Treatment methods include:

Bathing

It is all right to soak in the tub so long as the skin is well lubricated with emollients (see below) after bathing. Baths and showers can be taken every day. Do not use excessively hot water. This will prevent the skin from drying out even more.

 

Soaps

Regular soaps can dry the skin. Mild soaps (such as Dove, Camay, and Neutrogena) may be used. A cleansing solution (such as Cetaphil Skin Cleanser or Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar) may be better than soap for cleaning and lubricating the skin without causing excessive drying.

Bubble baths are never allowed!

 

Bath Oils

These are only slightly beneficial. They tend to make bathtubs very slippery, and should probably not be used.

 

Emollients

These agents soften and smooth irritated skin. They are probably one of the most important and effective methods in controlling the dryness caused by eczema. Eucerin Cream, Aquaphor, Aveeno Lotions, and Vaseline Petroleum Jelly are beneficial brands. Apply them over slightly moistened skin, such as after bathing. This seals in natural oils, rehydrates, lubricates, and moisturizes the skin. They should be applied at least twice daily to the entire body from the neck down to the toes.

Topical Steroids and Immunomodulators

Topical corticosteroids and topical immunomodulators are the main treatments for eczema. Use ________________________________________ _____ times a day on the itchy, red areas. Do not cover or occlude the rash after the topical steroid is applied. Leave it open to the air. This medicine can / cannot be applied to the face.

 

Anti-Itching Agents

To help relieve the symptom of itching, use ______________________________________ _________ tsp / tabs __________ times daily. Drowsiness may occur as a side effect of this medication.

 

Clothing

Soft cotton clothing is recommended over wool or other rough materials.

 

Cigarette Smoking

Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products in the homes of patients with eczema can lead to an increase in their skin irritation and itching.