Do you often feel itchy all over? If it is accompanied by dry lesions in the wake of your skin-scratching session, there are chances that you may be suffering from Atopic dermatitis, commonly referred to as eczema.
Eczema is a chronic skin disorder that leads to dry, itchy, scaly patches on the skin. It tends to run in families, is not contagious, and is commonly found among infants or very young children. Also, note that there is no cure for this disease.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an estimated 30% of the U.S. population is affected by eczema and a majority of them are children and adolescents.
Top Treatment Options For Eczema
In the below section, we take you through the top treatment methods for eczema.
1. Moisturise your skin
Eczema is generally associated with dry skin, making you more prone to allergens. Thus, it is quite important to keep your skin hydrated. Moisturize your skin by applying ointments such as petroleum jelly two to three times a day.
It is best recommended to apply the moisturizer immediately after the bath and whenever required post that. However, while buying the moisturizer, make sure that it is free of alcohol, dyes, scents, fragrances, and other skin-irritating chemicals.
2. Buy a humidifier
If possible install a humidifier at home. As you know a humidifier helps increase the moisture level in the air. Thus, it will help prevent dryness to the skin and the irritation caused by it.
3. Cut short your fingernails
As a person affected by eczema, there may be an irresistible urge to scratch the affected area. Never make the mistake of scratching that region, especially if you have long nails.
An effective solution is to keep your fingernails short. Also, buy light gloves if you suffer from the nagging problem of nighttime scratching.
4. Use topical steroids
To get relief from the itch, apply topical steroids or a moisturizer. If the itching is severe, take antihistamines.
5. Try a cold compress
Keep a soaked washcloth over the itchy skin as it offers symptomatic relief. Using a mild ice pack also provides the same effect. Though a cold compress may work for some time, it must be used in combination with a moisturizer later.
6. Apply aloe vera gels and coconut oil
Do you know that eczema may be aggravated by the invasion of microorganisms? To keep them at bay, apply aloe vera gels and coconut oil topically over your dry and broken skin.
The benefit is that they act as emollients and promote hydration. One more advantage is that they reduce inflammation.
Things to stay away from
1. Irritants including wool and lanolin. Please note that while making certain cosmetics and moisturizers, an oily substance derived from sheep wool is added to it.
2. Strong soaps and detergents.
3. A sudden change in your stress levels and body temperature may lead to sweating.
Also, while washing or bathing, make sure that you:
1. Limit water contact as much as possible.
2. Do lukewarm baths instead of long, hot baths.
3. Replace regular soaps with gentle body washes and cleansers.
4. Never scrub or dry the skin too hard or excessively.
Medicines used in treatment
Apart from topical steroids and antihistamines, the following are some of the common medicines used in the treatment of eczema.
1. Oral antibiotics: Helps kill bacteria that cause infections
2. Oral cyclosporine: Used in cases where other treatments do not work. Available in capsule or liquid form
3. Phototherapy: The two methods include ultraviolet (UV) light therapy and PUVA (chemophototherapy).
4. Methotrexate: An immunosuppressive medicine used in the long-term treatment.
5. Topical immunomodulatory: Applied on the skin to change the immune response.
6. Barrier restoration creams: Works similar to moisturizers. They provide the dual benefits of repairing the skin and providing moisture.
7. Systemic corticosteroids: They help ease inflammation and offer relief from itching.
Hope the article offers lesser-known facts about eczema and valuable tips to treat the disease. The home remedies mentioned above help in managing the symptoms of eczema.
However, it is important to consult a dermatologist and take the antibiotics and topical steroids as prescribed.