Atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema is a condition that makes the skin red and itchy. Although the problem is common in children, it can occur at any age. Eczema is long lasting and tends to spring up periodically. Generally, it begins before the age of 5 and continues in the adolescence and adulthood. Other health problems may accompany the illness, including asthma or hay fever.
As yet, there has been no cure found for atopic dermatitis. However, correct treatments can help keep the condition in control. Therefore if you are experiencing eczema, make sure to consult the best Dermatologist in Lahore for proper guidance.
Some of the most common symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry skin
- Itching, which may be severe, especially at night
- Raw, sensitive, swollen skin due to scratching
- Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
- Red to brownish-gray patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, and inside the bend of the elbows and knees. In infants, they may appear on the face and scalp
- Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
Eczema is often related to a gene variation that affects the skin’s ability to provide natural protection against bacteria, irritants, allergens, as well as the ability to retain moisture. This results in the skin being affected by factors such as the environment, irritants, and allergens.
Sometimes food allergies may also play a role in causing eczema in children.
Even though there is no cure for eczema, correct treatment can heal the affected skin and reduce the impact of the condition. Based on the individual’s age, symptoms, and current state of health, different treatment options are available including the following:
One option is to go for medication including the following:
- Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments: These are anti-inflammatory medications and may relieve the main symptoms of eczema, such as inflammation and itchiness. They can be applied directly to the skin.
- Systemic corticosteroids: If topical treatments are not effective, a doctor may prescribe systemic corticosteroids. These are available as injections or oral tablets but can only be used for short periods of time.
- Antibiotics: Doctors may prescribe antibiotics if eczema occurs alongside a bacterial skin infection.
- Antiviral and antifungal medications: These can treat fungal and viral infections.
- Antihistamines: These can reduce the risk of nighttime scratching.
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors: This drug suppresses the activities of the immune system, decrease inflammation and prevent flares.
- Barrier repair moisturizers: These reduce water loss and work to repair the skin.
- Phototherapy: This method involves exposure to UVA or UVB waves and can treat moderate dermatitis.
b) Home care
Another option is to go for homecare remedies and follow simple tips to reduce the effects of eczema including:
- moisturizing every day
- applying moisturizer right after taking a shower
- using a mild soap or a non-soap cleanser when washing
- wearing cotton and soft fabrics
- avoiding rough, scratchy fibers and tight fitting clothing
- using a humidifier in dry or cold weather
- air drying or gently patting the skin dry with a towel, rather than rubbing the skin dry after a bath or shower
- where possible, avoiding rapid changes of temperature and activities that cause sweating
- learning and avoiding individual eczema triggers
- keeping fingernails short to prevent scratching from breaking the skin
- opting for natural remedies including aloe vera, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar
- taking lukewarm baths
Eczema is a common skin condition that can result in a lot of discomfort. While it cannot be cured completely, seeking help from the best Dermatologist in Islamabad or your city would be beneficial in managing the condition.