Recent studies have shown that there are 15 million people in this country who suffer from a form of eczema. Eczema can occur at any age and unfortunately, there is no known cure for eczema. However, the good news is that many very effective eczema treatments are available.
Before attempting to find an eczema cure it is important to understand exactly what the condition is.
Eczema is a dry skin condition that can occur at any age, but mostly is found in children. The severity of the condition varies from person to person, and as a result, different cases will require different help. Eczema is not a contagious condition.
A person suffering from eczema may find their skin will not only look dry, but also be itchy and red. In severe cases, bleeding, crusting and weeping may occur in affected areas of the body.
So, what is the best eczema treatment? The first step to eczema relief is to stop scratching. Scratching causes the skin to split and bleed, making it more vulnerable to infection. Should infection occur, oral and topical antibiotics are available and, in most cases, are very effective.
As eczema sufferers will know stopping the scratching is easier said than done. Keeping skin moisturized will prevent dryness and splitting of the skin even if scratching continues. Every person is different, but it is recommended that a moisturizer or cream is applied to affected areas at least twice a day. The best time to apply it is after bathing. This way moisture from the bath or shower is still locked into the skin. Keeping skin moist is a critical part of all eczema treatments.
Another option is to apply cold compress. If this still does not work, the next best option is non-prescription corticosteroid creams and ointments that are designed to reduce inflammation. These are readily available over the counter at any drug store.
If the non-prescription corticosteroid creams and ointments are ineffective, the next step is to try those that are prescribed by a doctor. Stronger corticosteroid creams and ointments have been found to be very successful, but can have side-effects. Talk to your doctor to ensure you fully understand any risks or possible side effects of using these creams. The length of eczema treatment and the area of usage should always be reduced to the least amount of time possible. In severe cases, doctors may prescribe oral corticosteroids. Once again, there are risks and side-effects involved in taking corticosteroids, so always talk to your doctor about these issues first.
In some cases, especially those in which the person is suffering from severe itching, the previously mentioned creams may not be effective. For that, doctors may recommend sedative antihistamines. These are available in both prescription and over-the-counter varieties. Since drowsiness is a common side effect, these are usually given during the evening to ensure a restful nights sleep.
The last resort for eczema treatment is a drug called cyclosporine A. This is designed to modify the bodys immune response. However, this treatment is known to have serious side effects.