How to Treat Eczema: Follow These 3 Steps

When you have eczema, it can feel like a constant battle to get your skin back to normal. And while there’s no magic pill that can give you healthy skin, there are three simple steps that you can follow to help your skin heal and prevent future flares.

“A consistent daily effort to nurture and protect skin is crucial for those with eczema,” said Dr. Frank Lichtenberger, M.D., Ph.D., medical director at AD RescueWear. “A bathing and moisturizing routine, along with the appropriate medication, can go a long way to restoring skin’s protective barrier.”

Here’s your rash-free action plan:

#1 Use Eczema Medication

There are three main types of medications commonly prescribed to treat eczema. These topical medications (applied to the skin) include:

Steroid creams

Steroids have long been used to reduce the itching, redness and inflammation of eczema. They come in varying strengths and are often the first treatment doctors recommend for mild to moderate cases.

Typically, you use steroid creams to control active flares and stop using them when skin clears. If you use them for a longer time, you may experience side effects, such as:

  • Skin thinning or thickening
  • Skin darkening
  • Stretch marks
  • Spider veins

Calcineurin inhibitors

These medications are absorbed into the skin and block calcineurin, a substance that triggers an inflammatory response. They ease eczema symptoms and don’t produce long-term side effects like steroids. The most common side effect is a temporary burning or irritation of the skin where applied.

PDE4 inhibitors

This is the newest type of topical drug available for those with eczema. It also suppresses a part of the immune system response to prevent inflammation in the skin. You may experience a slight stinging sensation when you apply it, but otherwise it’s rare to have any other side effects. Learn more about Eucrisa as a treatment for eczema.

Consult with your doctor to determine what medication is right for you. Then apply it regularly, as directed. Typically, this is best done immediately after bathing.

#2: Take Care of Skin

When you have reactive, eczema-prone skin, taking special care of it becomes essential. But that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. Follow a daily bathing and moisturizing routine that includes:

  • Taking a lukewarm shower or bath
  • Washing with an eczema-safe cleanser
  • Moisturizing with a thick, irritant-free cream such as Vaniply
  • Applying medication to affected areas
  • Wearing breathable cotton or medical garments designed for those with eczema

Wet wrap therapy

For moderate to severe flares, consider wet wrap therapy. At the end of your skincare routine, wrap affected areas with dampened cotton or a medical garment. The coolness will soothe itchy skin and the moisture helps skin heal faster. One study found that following this measure alone reduced symptoms by 70 percent in one week. Learn more about the effectiveness of wet wrap therapy for stubborn eczema.

#3: Avoid Triggers

What triggers an eczema flare for you may be very different from what triggers someone else. That’s why it’s important to try to identify anything you ate or something in your environment that preceded an eczema flare. Many people have to avoid fragrances and common chemicals in detergents, toiletries and household cleaners as well as scratchy fabrics or particular foods. Find out what habits trigger eczema.

“When your skin is itchy or painful, it’s easy to get frustrated with the situation,” said Dr. Lichtenberger. “But don’t give up. Talk with your doctor about what’s working and what’s not and keep up your efforts at home. You’ll find a solution — it’s just a matter of time.”


NOTE: This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a consultation, diagnosis and/or medical treatment by a healthcare provider.





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