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Eczema (cont.)

Are There Medical Treatments and Medications for Eczema?

Once a health-care professional is sure someone has atopic dermatitis, the mainstays of therapy are anti-inflammatory medications and relief from the itching.

Prescription-strength steroid cream and antihistamine medications are the usual treatments.

If a health-care professional determines that someone has a secondary bacterial infection complicating their rash, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed.

For severe cases not responding to high-potency steroid cream, alternate treatments may be tried. These include coal tar, ultraviolet light exposure, and systemic anti-inflammatory agents.

Allergy shots (immunotherapy) usually do not work in eczema.

A variety of diets have been proposed for eczema relief. These may be structured on the results of allergy testing or may be chosen for their content of foods that tend not to provoke allergic responses. Not everyone put on restrictive eczema diets improves, and many patients with severe eczema show no testing evidence of food allergies. For that reason, a change in diet, if desired, should be considered as an additional step in treatment rather than a primary one, and if the patient notices they itch more when eating any identified food or drink, it would be best if they avoid it.

Is Follow-up Necessary After Eczema Treatment?

  • Take all medicines as prescribed and expect slow gradual improvement.
  • Keep the affected area as clean, dry, and protected as possible to avoid further breakdown of the skin and prevent infection.
  • Apply steroid cream until the rash has completely gone away.
  • If prescription medications are not controlling the eczema or the prescription medications are running out, make an appointment with a health-care professional.
  • Watch the area carefully for signs of infection: increased redness, warmth, pain, pustules, or a discharge from the area. See as health-care professional if an infection is suspected.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/7/2016
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Dyshidrotic eczema is a recurrent or chronic relapsing form of vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis of unknown etiology.

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