What Are the Treatments for Chronic Eczema?

Q:
What are the treatments for chronic eczema?

A:
Eczema is a group of conditions that cause inflammation of the skin. It is a chronic problem for many people. Typically, chronic eczema causes skin to become itchy, red, and dry, even cracked and leathery.

Here are the treatments for chronic eczema:

The basics

  • Soap and moisturizer. Use a mild soap or soap substitute that won’t dry your skin. You’ll also want a good moisturizer in cream, lotion, or ointment form. Smooth it on right after a shower or bath, as well as one other time each day.
    If your eczema is severe, you may find that it helps to take baths with a small amount of bleach added to the water. That kills bacteria that live on the skin of people with eczema.
  • Short, warm showers. Don’t take very hot or very long showers or baths. They can dry out your skin.
  • Stress management. Get regular exercise and set aside time to relax.
  • Get a humidifier. Dry air can be stressful for your skin.

Medicines
If you need meds to treat your eczema, those may include:

  • Hydrocortisone. Over-the-counter cream or ointment versions of it may help mild eczema. If yours is severe, you may need a prescription dose.
  • Antihistamines. Ones you take by mouth are available over-the-counter and may help relieve symptoms.
  • Corticosteroids. Your doctor may prescribe these if other treatments don’t work. Always follow your doctor’s directions when taking steroids by mouth.
  • Ultraviolet light therapy. This may help if your skin condition is severe.

It can be hard to tell for sure if you have eczema. You’ll want to see a dermatologist or other doctor to find out.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.