What are the different types of eczema?
What causes eczema to flare up?
What foods should I avoid if I have eczema?
Why does eczema itch more at nighttime?
I never had eczema before, why do I have it now?
Are there different types of eczema? For instance, is the eczema on my eyelids same as the eczema on my hands?
Are some people more likely to get eczema than others?
Is eczema contagious?
Are eczema and psoriasis the same thing?
Can stress make eczema flare up?
How do I treat eczema?
- Repair the faulty skin barrier
You can achieve this by moisturising the skin regularly and avoiding harsh substances (such as soap and detergents) that will further dry out the skin and damage the skin barrier. Moisturising should be a daily habit, whether the skin is itchy or inflamed, or not. Keeping showers lukewarm (hot showers make the skin itchier!) and brief is important. Also, avoid taking long baths. Water, itself, will dry the skin by removing natural oils from the skin surface.
- Reduce the inflammation
This might include using topical corticosteroids (also known as "steroid" or "cortisone" creams prescribed by a GP or dermatologist) as part of a controlled and supervised regimen. According to Dr Koh, Australian studies have shown that these medications are safe to use and don't cause the side effects that many worry about, as long as they are used correctly and as directed. Different strengths of steroid cream will be needed for different locations on the skin, and for different severities. For example, a milder cream for thin, delicate skin of the eyelids, compared to the thicker skin of hands and feet. There are also prescription strength NON-steroid treatments that a GP or dermatologist can give, usually for maintenance of the eczema.
- Become aware of triggers
... And avoid them! Prevent overheating at night by swapping heavy quilts for cotton or linen bedding and py,jamas. Also, wear protective gloves or equipment if external substances are an issue.
- Visit your doctor
Be sure to see your doctor if there is a flare-up not responding to usual treatment. Sometimes this is due to infection that might also require medical attention. Allergies may also need to be tested.