The meaning of the word “eczema” can cause confusion. Many people use this word to refer to a common skin condition called atopic dermatitis. The term eczema also has a more general meaning referring to a number of conditions related to inflamed skin. You might inherit it or get it from excessive dryness or exposure to an irritant.
In most cases of eczema no one treatment will be effective. The most effective treatment plan for any type of eczema involves a combination of therapies to treat the skin and changes in lifestyle to control flare-ups. Identifying the cause and severity of the problem is an essential step for your Dermatologist. Once all the information is known, a comprehensive treatment plan can be established to treat the cause, symptoms and reduce side effects from medications.
Moisturizers and topical steroids usually control the problem fairly quickly. Moisturizers work on mild eczema by hydrating extremely dry skin and alleviating itching and irritation by helping the skin retain moisture. Topical steroids work by reducing inflammation in the skin. Low (mild) potency hydrocortisone is available as an over-the-counter medication. Stonger topical steroids are broken down by potency ( moderately potent, potent and very potent) and may be prescribed for more serious conditions. It is important to schedule an appointment with your Dermatologist before you begin treatment.
To your skin health,
Dr. Asarch, M.D.