If you’re one of the 15 million Americans dealing with eczema, and you haven’t had much success treating the symptoms, there’s hope. There are many treatment options available, and one or a combination of them may help you.
At Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating eczema. Dr. Bushore can design a treatment plan to help you manage your existing symptoms and prevent future flare-ups.
Eczema is a term given to describe a group of skin conditions that irritate and inflame the skin. Common symptoms of eczema include skin dryness, skin thickening, and scaly rashes. These issues can trigger intense itching, which can increase your risk for skin damage if you scratch too hard or too much.
While the underlying cause of eczema isn’t understood well, evidence suggests that eczema flare-ups occur because they get irritated from certain substances or dried out from too much water evaporation. Furthermore, many people with a history of allergies or asthma also have eczema, and flare-ups are common when colds or other upper respiratory infections occur.
Having eczema means that you need to have a life-long plan in place to keep your skin healthy and symptoms well-controlled. We can help you create a plan and recommend appropriate treatment options.
As a board-certified dermatologist, David A. Bushore, MD, has extensive experience helping patients find relief from the itching and dryness eczema causes. The following treatments may help keep your symptoms at bay.
Your initial approach should focus on keeping your skin well-moisturized. Dr. Bushore can suggest which lotions and creams you should use based on your skin type and the severity of your eczema flare-ups.
You should apply these moisturizers to all areas of your skin, especially your face, creases of your arms, and the back of your knees, which is where eczema dryness is most common.
Because eczema flare-ups can be triggered by substances in your environment, such as pet dander, perfumes, and certain fabrics, you should have a plan to limit your exposure to the substances that affect you.
Over-the-counter or prescription hydrocortisone creams, which can reduce itching symptoms during eczema flare-ups, may make you less likely to scratch open your skin. However, if you develop a skin infection from too much scratching, you may also need topical or oral antibiotics to clear it.
Antihistamines can also keep eczema symptoms from flaring up if you have a known reaction to pet dander, dust, or other environmental allergens. There are also new prescription treatments for people with a lot of eczema that are now keeping them clear.
Adding a cold compress to an irritated area may reduce inflammation in the early stages of a flare-up.
You should also be mindful of your body temperature, as overheating can trigger flare-ups. Dress in layers that you can easily remove to avoid sweating, and wash your clothes in detergents that are safe for people with eczema.
Narrowband UVB phototherapy exposes your skin to controlled amounts of UVB energy to stop your immune system’s response.
We recommend three treatments a week for two months. After that, you can expect to have regular maintenance sessions to help prevent severe eczema symptoms from returning.
Board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, can also recommend other strategies to help you manage eczema based on your individual needs.
To find out which eczema treatments may be able to help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics today.