Eczema is a long-term condition that causes red, inflamed skin. It is also called atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema.
If you have this condition, your skin may be itchy and sometimes scaly. You might also notice small bumps that break open.
The key to managing eczema is to know what to expect so that you can enjoy life with your eczema despite its symptoms. Let’s talk about 5 useful treatments to keep eczema symptoms in check and where you can go for eczema treatment in Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, & Plainfield, IL.
5 Best Treatments for Managing Eczema
#1 Over-the-Counter Moisturizers
As the name suggests, moisturizers are used to keep your skin hydrated. For those suffering from eczema, applying moisturizer is a great way to soothe dry, itchy skin.
The three types of moisturizers are ointments, creams, and lotions. They’re categorized according to their oil and water content. The more water a moisturizer has, the more effective it is for eczema.
Ointments have more oil than creams and lotions. They’re generally the best option for treating eczema symptoms because they won’t cause irritation or burning when applied to the skin. The oil content also helps retain skin moisture better. Examples of ointments that are good for eczema are mineral oil and petroleum jelly.
Creams provide a light, smooth feel. They have a moderate amount of oil compared to ointments, which makes them easy to apply and remove. Choose a cream moisturizer if you want to avoid a greasy or heavy feeling on your skin.
Most lotions are water-based and have the lowest amount of oil among the three options. They’re not recommended for people with eczema because they tend to evaporate quicker than ointments and creams. Many lotions also contain irritants such as fragrance and dye, which could worsen eczema symptoms.
For best results, stick to ointments and creams when treating eczema. Prioritize products that do not contain preservatives, dyes, stabilizers, fragrances, and other allergens. Anything that contains ceramides and lipids is a good option.
Corticosteroids are a type of anti-inflammatory drug. For patients with eczema, a corticosteroid cream or ointment can relieve itching and inflammation on the skin.
There are a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines available for treating eczema symptoms. Doctors often recommend OTC hydrocortisone to treat mild eczema. Prescription creams will be given for more serious symptoms.
In severe cases, oral and injectable corticosteroids may also be recommended. Just be aware that such treatment options should not be taken for extended periods of time as they pose a risk for bone damage.
Commonly used for allergy symptoms, an antihistamine is also a good treatment option for eczema. Since it causes drowsiness when taken, it can prevent instances of nighttime itching and scratching. Less scratching means less irritation on the skin.
Some antihistamines commonly used for eczema are:
Discuss such intervention options with your physician to find out which antihistamine will be best for your case.
As mentioned, eczema flare-ups can increase the urge to scratch and pick at the skin. Your physician may prescribe an antibiotic to speed up healing from bacterial skin infections resulting from open wounds.
Antibiotics such as flucloxacillin, clarithromycin, and fusidic acid are generally effective for eczema-induced skin infections. The first two are usually taken orally, while the latter generally comes in the form of a topical solution.
Just be sure only take such antibiotics according to your doctor’s prescription. Long-term or unnecessary use may lead to antibiotic resistance in the future.
#5 Light Therapy
If your eczema doesn’t clear up, or if it suddenly flares up again after you’ve gone through treatment, then you might want to consider getting light therapy. Light therapy is an effective treatment for many skin conditions, especially eczema. It’s also used as a preventative measure to help keep your skin healthy.
The most common type of light therapy is called phototherapy. When performed, it exposes the skin to specific amounts of natural sunlight. Other versions of phototherapy use ultraviolet A (UVA) and narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) lights, which are artificially produced. In some cases, certain drugs may also be given to make the phototherapy even more effective.
But while phototherapy proves to be effective in decreasing eczema symptoms, it still increases the risk for skin issues. Using light therapy for long and extended periods can cause skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, and premature skin aging. For those reasons, phototherapy is not recommended for infants, toddlers, and young children with eczema.
It is best to discuss your options with your physician before deciding if light therapy is the proper path for you.
Eczema is an uncomfortable disease. However, there are treatments that can alleviate symptoms.
Both over-the-counter and prescription creams may be applied to ease itching, flaking, and dryness. Corticosteroids can also be taken orally, injected, or applied via topical solutions.
A physician may recommend taking antihistamines and antibiotics as well. These can relieve allergy symptoms and prevent the skin from developing bacterial infections caused by too much scratching.
Finally, light therapy can be beneficial for more severe cases.
Eczema Treatment in Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, &Plainfield, IL
We at Oak Brook Allergists are prepared to offer only the best treatment and services for patients suffering from eczema. Our team of immunology physicians is board-certified to assess, diagnose, and prescribe treatment for eczema symptoms.
For questions, you can call us at (630) 574-0460. You can also submit an appointment request form to set an appointment.
We have clinic locations in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Naperville, and Plainfield. For complete location and contact details, you can check out our official website.