Dry Skin & Eczema
Dry skin can be due to various factors such as cold weather, genetics and harsh cleansers or soaps. Anyone can experience dry skin and daily routines can have an effect on your skin’s health. Those with persistent dry skin can be predisposed to developing eczema.
Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by recurrent or persistent episodes of red, itchy, and dry skin.
Who Gets Eczema?
Eczema can develop in both children and adults and in all races.
What is the cause of Eczema?
A genetic predisposition, a disrupted skin barrier and environmental triggers can contribute to atopic dermatitis.
What Are The Treatments For Eczema?
While there is no cure for eczema, there are many treatments that can be used to minimize the frequency and severity of flares.
Non prescription treatment: For those with dry skin or milder forms of eczema, changes in daily routine may be able to help control flares. Minimizing hot showers and exposure to irritants or triggers (such as scented perfumes, harsh soaps, scented detergents or pets) can reduce flares. Consistent daily moisturizing can also improve the skin barrier and reduce flares. Other recommendations such as a bleach bath may be prescribed by your physician. These quick and safe baths have been shown to minimize eczema-related infections and lessen flares.
Topicals: First line treatment for eczema is topical prescription steroids. These creams, lotions, and ointments range in strength and efficacy. Once a flare is controlled, your physician may recommend a calcineurin inhibitor. This class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can be used for a longer period of time without the side effects associated with the long-term use of topical steroids. Consistent follow up visits with your medical provider will provide you with a safe and effective treatment plan for your condition.
Light Treatments: For widespread or persistent eczema, nbUVB phototherapy treatment may be recommended. This treatment requires the patient to come in for 2-3 quick visits per week. The patient will then stand in a booth that emits a very safe and effective band of light. This gives the patient the anti inflammatory benefits of ultraviolet light, but without the harmful rays that cause skin damage.
Oral Antibiotics: With persistent inflamed or cracked skin, infection is always a possibility. Your medical provider may recommend periodic dilute bleach baths to treat or prevent infection. In the instance that an infection does occur, oral antibiotics may be prescribed.
Systemic Treatments: For severe and persistent eczema unresponsive to topical or phototherapy treatments, systemic treatments may be recommended. These oral treatments such as Cellcept, Cyclosporine and Methotrexate are powerful oral medications that require consistent monitoring and follow up visits with your physician.