Eczema or Skin Allergy Treatment
Treatment For Eczema
The goal of eczema treatments is to relieve the symptoms, prevent itching and infections and treat the allergy. Treating eczema involves a 4 pronged method.
1) External applications – Most patients with chronic itching develop dark, leather-like skin on affected areas. Further open scratch wounds are also prone to bacterial infections & soon start oozing out pus or bleeding. The external applications include ointments and creams to restore the skin barrier, to treat infections and to reduce itching. To facilitate absorption these applications are usually applied when the skin is damp, such as after bathing.
2) Oral medicines – Oral medicines are prescribed to control inflammation, reduce the immune system reactions and to treat the allergy. Anti-bacterials or anti-fungal medication may be prescribed in cases with super-added infections.
3) Skin Care – This is one of the most important elements in managing all types of eczema. Continuation of skin care even after the skin has healed helps to prevent relapses.
• Bathing – once or twice daily is recommended using a mild soap and lukewarm water.
• Moisturizing – Frequent and generous use of moisturizers and emollients is extremely beneficial to keep the skin soft and supple. The moisturizers help skin to feel more comfortable and less itchy. They keep the skin moist, flexible and help to prevent cracks. Choosing the right moisturizer that suits your skin is essential.
• Clothing – made up of woollen, lycra, silk, polyester should be avoided. Only 100% cotton clothing is advisable.
• Home remedies – like application of pastes and oils of different kinds should be strictly avoided.
• Sudden heating and sudden cooling – can aggravate the skin and situations like this should be avoided.
4) Diet – Certain known food allergens that are found to aggravate eczema – like milk, fish, eggs, nuts, sea food, citrus foods and artificial colors. Preserved foods and canned foods contain food preservatives which may flare up eczema. This does not mean that all these foods should be avoided. But it does mean that these foods should be consumed with caution and observation. Introducing these foods one at a time at 15 day intervals and noting its effect on the skin in a food diary can help eliminate the allergens in a particular case.
5) Environment – House dust mites can aggravate eczema. It can be minimized by getting rid of things like carpets, curtains, open book shelves. The floor of the house should be vacuum cleaned or regularly moped with a wet cloth.
6) Avoiding triggers – Identification of the trigger is half the job done. Once the specific irritant or allergen is identified, treatment can be started in that direction. Generally staying away from the trigger for a certain period of time is advised to develop resistance. In cases where exposure to the triggering factor cannot be avoided, for example if the patient is allergic to certain weather changes or to the sun, a specific protective regimen may be required to minimize the effect of the trigger.
7) Lifestyle changes – Learning to cope with stress is essential. Stress reduction techniques are helpful. Adequate sleep, reducing the consumption of alcohol and smoking is also helpful.