Initially, we may suggest that you start your treatment for eczema regime with a cortisone cream, which can reduce the itch and inflammation. In milder cases of eczema, a simple over the counter cortisone cream may be able to resolve your issues, but in more extreme cases, we may prescribe a stronger cream.
Keeping your skin well moisturized can also help, but for severe cases, we may even prescribe corticosteroid pills, liquids, or shots. These drug treatments are for short periods of time, but they are helpful in treating eczema that just won’t dissipate. And finally, drugs that treat your immune system, such as cyclosporine, among others, are often prescribed for patients suffering from moderate eczema. Taking these drugs for an extended period of time can cause serious side effects and is something you should discuss with your physician should they be prescribed.
Phototherapy involves the use of UV light to halt or lessen the overreaction of your immune system. This treatment for eczema is effective, but may prematurely age the skin and raise your risk for developing skin cancer along the line, so precautions must be taken. There are two kinds of
phototherapy: UV therapy and PUVA therapy. With UV therapy, your skin is exposed to UVA and UVB rays, sometimes singly, sometimes together, and occasionally with coal tar rubbed on your skin. PUVA therapy adds psoralen, a prescription drug that will make your skin more sensitive to UVA rays. This treatment is used when UV therapy has not been successful.
Sometimes it’s the simple things you do at home that can bring about the most success in treating eczema. Bathing in warm water only, using cleansers that are gentle on your skin, and making sure you pat your skin dry using a soft towel can ease irritations. Moisturizing daily with fragrance free moisturizers is helpful, and learning to avoid triggers that can ignite a flare up are also prime tools in the fight against eczema. And finally, avoid stress as much as possible. We know that’s not always possible in today’s world, but taking yoga classes can help teach you how to deal with stress in a positive and healthy way.
As always, it’s important to seek medical advice before starting any treatment program, and Dr. Seiger and the staff at Skin & Vein Center have over 26 years of experience in treating skin and vein disorders. Contact us to schedule your appointment today—there’s no need to suffer in silence any longer.