Eczema refers to a group of unrelated diseases all of which appears similar and present themselves as blisters filled with a fluid on reddened and elevated skin. When the condition progresses the blisters rupture and the fluid oozes out. However, in chronic conditions the blisters give way to thickened, elevated and scaled skin. Eczema is often referred to as dermatitis.
Signs and Symptoms of Eczema:
One of the most common symptoms is itching irrespective of the type of eczema. The way the eczema erupts and spreads in the body helps the doctor identify the type of eczema.
Though there is no documented cause for eczema. It is said that eczema is often an excess reaction of the body’s immune system to an allergen or irritant.
Diagnosis and Identifying Eczema:
Generally, the medical practitioner would analyze the skin of the patient and the medical history about any allergic diseases such as asthma or hay fever. Skin biopsy can be done sometimes to rule out any infectious diseases which can be cured and relieve the patient from the symptoms. There are numerous types of eczema. It is imperative that the specific type of eczema is identified and treatment is done. Below are given some treatments that are common to all types of eczema.
Treatment of Eczema:
The treatment of the condition varies with the degree of the disease. In any stage of the condition a good skin care routine is very significant. If the eczema is in the early stages taking good care of the skin along with certain life style changes will help. However for severe cases it is imperative that medicines are administered.
Non-Drug Related Treatment Options:
Soaps: Mild soaps or alternates to soaps that do not dry the skin of the person are recommended for people who suffer from eczema.
Adequate Moisturizing: People with eczema should take care to keep their skin adequately moisturized. Moisturizing can be done with a lotion, cream or ointment immediately after taking a bath which helps in locking in the skin’s natural moisture.
Adding Bleach to Bath Water: People with a severe form of the eczema sometimes benefit from taking bath with bleach added to the water which kills the bacteria.
Showers: People affected with this condition should take short showers with warm water and not long showers with hot water.
Lifestyle Modifications: Making some lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, getting adequate exercise and relaxing will bring about a change in the condition.
Clothes: Wearing cotton clothes and avoiding woolen clothes which might aggravate the condition.
Home Remedies: Mild eczema can be treated with a compress with a lukewarm water and air dying it
Hydrocortisone: Hydrocortisone creams help in mild cases while steroid creams will help in severe cases of eczema.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines help to cure allergic reactions and over the counter antihistamine medicines help in the treatment of eczema. Some of these medicines cause drowsiness and helps patients to get a good night’s sleep undisturbed by the itching caused by eczema.
Corticosteroids: Though oral steroids have side effects it is sometimes prescribed when all other treatments fail.
Ultra Violet Therapy: People with severe eczema will benefits from UV therapy.
Immunosuppressants and Immunomodulators: These medications help to restrain the immune system and the inflammation associated with eczema.
All the above mentioned treatments do not guarantee a complete cure for eczema. The treatments do help in adequately managing the condition. However, people who have been affected by this condition can undertake precautionary measures by avoiding the allergens which might cause the condition to flare up.