Definition: Eczema is a recurring skin condition characterized by rash, dryness, and itching.
Cause: There is no single known cause, however, allergies are sometimes implicated.
Cure: There is no cure for the condition, however it may clear spontaneously.
Treatment: The key to preventing a severe rash is early treatment of skin changes and itching. (Eczema has been called "the itch that rashes" and requires aggressive early treatment before it gets worse.) There are a number of things that you can do to decrease the frequency and/or severity of eczema.
1. Avoid soap, use soap substitutes
3. Moisturize: Recommendations: Keri lotion, 10% urea cream, Eucerin * Avoid Vaseline and ointments because they can block sweat glands and worsen rash.
4. Steroid creams are often used for eczema. Don't use more than .5% the face. You can try over the counter steroid creams, but if they don't work quickly, you can get a stronger cream by doctor's prescription. Follow GP's directions on usage.
5. Antihistamines, such as benadryl, can be used to control itching, which tends to be worse at night.
6. Keep nails clean and short to prevent scratching and infection.
7. Avoid skin irritants such as animal danders (dogs and cats), feathers, harsh fabrics (denim and corduoy), tight clothing, and even sometimes wool and silk. Cotton clothing is recommended as much as possible.
8. Launder clothing with mild soap or detergent (Dreft, Ivory Snow, certain sans-additive detergents such as Tide Free). Use no additives such as enzymes, fabric softeners. Wash new clothing prior to wearing.
9. Avoid temperature and humidity extremes, don't over-dress or over heat. when humidity is low as during the winter in heated homes, a humidifier may be helpful.
10. Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools. Lake and ocean swimming is fine. Apply moisturizers afterwards.