How to treat eczema

By admin
16 April 2014

Eczema is a skin condition that affects 10 per cent of all people. It’s not contagious. Here’s advice on how to manage it.

Eczema is a skin condition that affects 10 per cent of all people. It’s not contagious. The most general form is atopic eczema which occurs in people who are prone to allergies. It’s often accompanied by asthma and hay fever. The exact cause is unknown but it’s ascribed to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Eczema is characterised by an inflammation of the skin which feels hot, dry and itchy. Sometimes blisters may develop and if they open up they can become infected. Dry skin and scratching aggravates the condition.

There’s no cure for eczema but there are various ways to manage it.

Most important of all is to control the dryness:

  • Avoid soap and other chemicals that cause irritation.
  • Use moisturising cleansers.
  • Use richer creams on drier skin areas.
  • Use creams regularly and as soon as possible after bathing or showering.

Cortisone creams of varying strengths are used to control inflammation. Antihistamines reduce the itching. Skin and/or blood tests can help determine if there are allergens that can be avoided.

In serious cases where large parts of the body are affected cortisone injections or tablets help. All forms of cortisone must be used judiciously under a doctor’s supervision.

If the skin shows signs of infection, use antibiotics.

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