Is There Really a Long-Term Cure for Eczema?
Eczema can be a very frustrating condition to deal with, especially if it’s recurring or has been happening on a long-term basis. For the many who struggle with this skin issue, they may wonder whether there’s a long term solution for eczema. Here are some natural eczema treatment recommendations and other guidance from professional dermatologists.
What Is Eczema?
The terms eczema and dermatitis are often used interchangeably, but technically eczema is one type of dermatitis – known as atopic dermatitis. This particular type of eczema causes a scaly, red, and sometimes itchy rash on the skin. It differs from typical dry skin that many people experience during colder months or in dry climates.
Eczema flare ups often happen in response to moisture or chilly winter air, as well as to certain chemicals or textiles. Heating systems can force dry air into homes, and many people increase the temperature or duration of their showers or baths during colder months, and exposure to this hot water can further irritate the skin.
Natural Eczema Treatment and Prevention
Unfortunately, since eczema is a chronic condition caused by an inflammatory immune response, it can’t be permanently cured. But it can be treated and managed through prevention strategies – primarily through identifying and avoiding triggers. If you suffer from ongoing bouts of eczema, a few lifestyle adjustments can really help.
For one – and this is important during all seasons but especially during colder months – use a thick, non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) moisturizer on the affected areas. Limit bath and shower time to 5-10 minutes maximum, using lukewarm water instead of hot. Avoid scented soaps and perfumes in favor of gentle, fragrance-free soaps. The same goes for laundry detergents, so look for unscented. Be sure to wear gloves – and a mask, if possible – while cleaning with any harsh chemicals.
Adding a humidifier in the bedroom can really help to keep skin hydrated while you sleep. If your eczema flare-ups are exacerbated by fabrics like wools, latex, polyester, or synthetic, then stick to cotton, silk, or bamboo clothing and sheets that allow for the skin’s breathability. During periods of intense itching, be sure not to scratch but instead apply a cold compress to soothe the skin.
Seeing a Dermatologist About Your Eczema
If you make these lifestyle adjustments and find that your chronic eczema is still acting up, it’s probably time to make an appointment with your dermatologist. A dermatology specialist can help diagnose your specific type of eczema and pinpoint your specific triggers, as well as prescribe any ointments, creams, or other topicals to help.
Topical steroid creams can help soothe redness, inflammation, and itching. Non-steroidal eczema creams like tacrolimus (Protopic®), Pimecrolimus (Elidel®) and Eucrisa® can also help, and in some cases, oral antihistamines might be prescribed.
Contact Vanguard Dermatology
Need help finding the right eczema treatment for you? If you’re located in the greater New York City area, contact Vanguard Dermatology today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists who can help treat your eczema and prevent further flare ups.