Depends on severity. Mild eczema is best treated with strict adherence to proper bathing routines, moisturizing creams & skin barrier repair measures. More severe eczema can be treated with all the above, but may also need more serious approaches like oral medications. This could include methotrexate, cellcept, (mycophenolate mofetil) and cyclosporine. Eczema can also be managed using phototherapy (narrow band uvb). See a dermatologist.
Inhibit Calcineurin. There is another group of topical drugs that are not steroids, and are very effective for eczema. These are called calcineurin inhibitors and include protopic® and elidel®. These medications are safe for use on the face as well as on the rest of the body. They should be used sparingly on affected areas only. They sometimes burn a bit; refrigerating helps. Let your doc explain the fda warning.
Petrolleum jelly. Keeping the skin moist is one of the most important measures. Both ointments and lotions can do this, ointments are more effective, but less friendly to caregivers. Since about half of the children with eczema have an associated food allergy, it is helpful to watch if exacerbations are related to particular foods.
Protect. Avoid things that make you break out, soaps & wetness. Wash your hands only when necessary. Wear gloves when needed. Wear clothes made of cotton. Bathe only with a small amount of mild unscented soap, such as dove. Keep the water temperature cool or warm, not hot. Use the medicine your doctor gave you. Use a plain moisturizer daily. Avoid scratching or rubbing the itchy area. Manage stress.
My 4 year old son has chronic eczema... Are there any natural ways to treat it? I don't really want to use the topical steroids on him...
ECZEMA. Moisturizers help the chronic eczema to avoid lichenification or thickening of the skin.
I have been reading about topical steroid addiction/steroid induced eczema - what are your thoughts on the condition, and if believed, best solution?
Discuss with MD. Controversial- red skin syndrome or burning skin syndrome has been associated with long term use of topical steroids, however if using as prescribed would be very rare. Any medication can be abused, however these are usually prescribed strength steroids and are under the guidance of the prescriber. Should not be a problem in general, as any prescribed medication warrants clinical supervision.
Thanks for asking! I have been thinking of the issue and can only think there is obsessive compulsive problems. If counseling is not possible try to change topical agent to coco butter.
Tapering off steroid. This has been a challenging problem for several years. Prolonged use of topical steroids leads to erythema and some atrophy of the skin. This leads to an ever increasing strength of the topical to control it which makes it worse. Gradual tapering off the topical steroids and sometimes patch testing for possible allergy is warranted.
Which topical steroid would you consider best for treating dishydrotic eczema, and wich pharmaceutical form (ie cream vs ointment)?
Eczema. I like to use mometasone sparingly once daily (cream for less severe and ointment for more severe), but this is opinion only. Many are effective. Decreased bathing, careful selection of soaps and moisturizers are more important in treatment. I hope this helps.