How is eczema treated?
Yes, there are treatments available for eczema to help relieve the symptoms. As children get older, many find that their symptoms naturally get better or clear up completely.
Can eczema be cured?
There is currently no cure for eczema, so there is no way to get rid of eczema permanently but treatments can help to control the symptoms.
How to treat eczema
As well as avoiding triggers, there are two main types of treatment available for eczema:
- topical corticosteroids
Aveeno lotion and Cetraben cream are both examples of emollients. These are moisturising treatments that are used to help soothe and hydrate skin. They are used to treat skin conditions including eczema, and help to keep skin hydrated and moisturised by forming a protective film over it. They are flammable so it’s important to stay away from fire and cigarettes if you’ve applied emollients.
Lotions are better for damaged areas of skin, especially those that are weeping. Aveeno lotion is thin, spreads easily and contains soothing ingredients like oatmeal which has been used for centuries to keep skin moisturised.
Cetraben cream has been specially formulated for dry, itchy, eczema prone skin. It works by:
- locking in moisture
- repairing a damaged skin barrier
- protects the skin from irritants and dryness
Topical corticosteroids are creams, lotions, or gels that have anti-inflammatory properties and are used to treat a range of skin conditions, including eczema. Unlike emollients, which should be used regularly, topical corticosteroids should be used sparingly for a short period of time and with the instruction of a healthcare professional or according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. That’s because if corticosteroids are used too much they can cause side effects.
Hydrocortisone cream may help to relieve the inflammation and itching experienced during an eczema flare up. It should only be used 1-2 times a day and for a maximum of a week before you’d need to contact your doctor again.
Eumovate cream is another type of topical corticosteroid. It contains the active ingredient clobetasone butyrate. Eumovate 0.05% cream can be applied up to 2 times a day for a maximum of 4 weeks. The cream is used to relieve the symptoms of eczema, reducing swelling and irritation.
Over the counter eczema treatments
There are treatments available over the counter for eczema symptoms. These are remedies that do not need a prescription. They include:
- antihistamines - to help with itching and inflammation if you have allergies
- pain relief - for the relief of pain, burning and inflammation caused by flare ups
- emollients- to help keep your skin moist
- topical hydrocortisone - for temporary relief of itchy rashes
- medicated shampoos and soaps - to help with symptoms such as dandruff
How to treat scalp eczema
Scalp eczema or seborrheic dermatitis may be treated with medicated shampoos that contain active ingredients, such as:
- coal tar
- selenium sulphide
- salicylic acid
- zinc pyrithione
These are anti-dandruff shampoos and a pharmacist can tell you how to use them. You should use the shampoo for a month to see if your dandruff improves.
How to treat eczema on hands
The main treatments for eczema on the hands are:
- corticosteroid cream
If the itchiness is keeping you awake at night or is intense, you may be able to take an antihistamine to help relieve the symptoms. You should check with your pharmacist or doctor which antihistamine would be most suitable for you to take.
How to treat eczema on the eyelid
The usual treatment for eczema around the eyes is emollients and mild corticosteroids. You may be prescribed topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) which is lotion used to treat eyelid eczema. Because it contains no steroids, there is no risk that it will thin the skin.
How to treat eczema on your face
The most common treatments for eczema on the face are emollients and mild corticosteroids. These will help to relieve inflammation and itching but you can try self-care techniques, too. These include:
- reducing scratching
- avoiding triggers
How to treat eczema on feet
Treating eczema on your feet or pompholyx is similar to treating atopic eczema and includes the use of:
- topical corticosteroids