Treating the Itch of Eczema
Eczema is a condition that causes patches of your skin to become red, itchy, and sometimes blistered. About 10 percent of people will have eczema at some point in their lives, and for most of those people their symptoms will start before the age of 6.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for eczema, although research is ongoing into the exact causes and best treatment approaches for eczema. At Skin Care Research, we are currently conducting clinical trials in this area.
What causes eczema?
Healthy skin helps retain moisture and protects you from bacteria, irritants, and allergens. Eczema is related to a gene variation that affects the skin’s ability to provide this protection. This allows your skin to be affected by environmental factors, irritants, and allergens. These lead to the rash symptoms typical with eczema.
What are the best treatments for eczema?
Eczema is a chronic condition where treatment is geared to helping manage the patient’s symptoms. These are a few successful treatment areas:
- Creams that control itching and help repair the skin — Prescription corticosteroid creams and ointments help to calm the itching and inflammation of the skin. Corticosteroids are applied directly to the affected areas after you apply moisturizer.
- Other creams containing drugs called calcineurin inhibitors — These work to affect the patient’s immune system.
- Antibiotics — When patients develop bacterial infections, open sores, or cracks in their skin, a course of antibiotic cream is usually necessary. This eliminates the infection and allows the skin to heal.
- Oral anti-inflammatory medications — Oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone, reduce the inflammation in the skin. They are effective, but they cannot be taken for long periods due to the potential for side effects.
- Light therapy — When topical treatments are not effective, light therapy may be used. The simplest form of this is natural sunlight in controlled amounts. Other forms use artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and narrow band ultraviolet B (UVB) either alone or with medications.
- Coal tar — Coal tar works to treat eczema by slowing the growth of new skin cells and softening the top layer of your skin. This allows your skin to shed scales and keep in moisture more easily. Coal tar comes as a gel, cream, or shampoo.
Eczema is a frustrating chronic condition that deserves better treatment approaches. At Skin Care Research we are currently conducting clinical trials into eczema treatments. You may qualify for one. To find out, call Skin Care Research, (561) 948-3116.