Atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, is a skin condition characterized by patches of inflamed, dry, itchy skin that may crust or weep. Sufferers plagued by this irritation may try a host of remedies. While there is no guaranteed cure, modern dermatology treatments can alleviate most symptoms.
Along with consistent skin care, regular application of oil-based, perfume-free moisturizers can reduce the itching and inflammation. At night, coat the rash with petroleum jelly and cover with cotton gloves or wraps to make an occlusive dressing.
2. Eliminating the Cause
Dr. Ken Landow says that while eczema can have a number of causes, allergic reactions are a frequent trigger. In addition to avoiding soaps with dyes and fragrances, look for hypoallergenic clothing, and remove jewelry, especially in proximity to outbreaks. Diet changes may also help.
Though antihistamines have not generally been proven effective, corticosteroids can offer relief. Topical creams containing hydrocortisone are available over the counter. For more severe cases, a dermatologist can prescribe stronger versions, including oral and injected formulations.
4. Light Therapies
Recent studies have shown some success using ultraviolet light to treat dermatitis. As UV exposure increases the risk of skin cancer, light therapy must be carefully monitored.
The irritation of eczema can seem inescapable, but relief is possible. Discuss these and other treatments with a dermatology expert if itchy skin starts to affect your quality of life.