Eczema is a form of dermatitis where patches of skin become dry, red, swell and itch. In some severe cases, the skin may also ooze. While no one is exactly sure what causes this condition, it is believed that allergies, stress, heredity and a weakened immune system all contribute to the condition. The goals of treatment for eczema include:
- identifying and eliminating the triggers to prevent outbreaks
- treating the inflammation
- relieving the itching
- getting proper moisture to the skin
- strengthening your immune system
Identifying and Eliminating Triggers
It is believed that many outbreaks of eczema is due to allergies so it is only natural that the first eczema treatment should be to identify and eliminate as many allergens as possible. To pinpoint those allergens that cause eczema outbreaks patients are often asked to keep a daily diary to try to pinpoint when outbreaks most often occur. Allergy causing outbreaks could be due to laundry detergents, food, dust mites and a number of other objects in the environment. Finding and eliminating as many triggers as possible will lower the instances of out breaks and bring relief to those suffering from eczema.
Treating The Inflammation And Itching
The second step in eczema treatment is treating the inflammation and itching. Certain life changes combined with medication are often used to treat both the inflammation and itching. Often, patients with eczema are told to forgo baths and take warm, not hot, showers and to dry thoroughly as water can dry the skin and help to cause an outbreak. It is recommended that special shampoos designed to treat eczema be used and to avoid soaps with perfumes.
Often, special moisturizing skin creams and lotions will be recommended and should be used lavishly. These creams should not contain any fragrance and should be oil not water based. Asking your doctor to recommend a moisturizing cream will help you avoid purchasing and using a moisturizing cream that could make your condition worse. During outbreaks, your doctor may recommend you use some type of cortisone skin cream to help reduce the itching and inflammation.
Antihistamine medication such as Benadryl may be recommended or prescribed to help prevent itching as well. It is important to never scratch at your eczema no matter how much it itches because scratching will only make the inflammation worse.
Strengthening Your Immune System
Probably the best treatment for eczema is strengthening your immune system. Watching your diet and eating immune strengthening foods, getting plenty of rest and moderate exercise as well as a bit of sunshine and fresh air and avoiding stress can all help to strengthen your immune system and reduce the amount of times you have an eczema breakout and as well as the severity. It will also help you feel better overall, which will make it easier to deal with a breakout should it occur.
Remember the best eczema treatment for any condition is being proactive. Taking the best care of yourself is the best way to maintain your health and fight against this condition.