About Eczema: Treatment and Prevention

Allergic forms of the disease are treated with antihistamines and corticosteroids. Many doctors avoid giving systemic (pill-form) corticosteroids whenever possible, preferring creams and lotions with lesser side effects. In older adults, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is sometimes used against atopic dermatitis, but the skin cancer risk makes this unsuitable in younger people.

Contact dermatitis is treated by removing the irritant responsible and letting the skin heal. The only cure for lichen simplex is to stop scratching.

If you have sensitive skin, you're stuck with it. Susceptibility to most forms of eczema is genetic and unavoidable. On the other hand, knowing what allergens and irritants to avoid can help you get through life without being inconvenienced by eczema.

Varicose eczema isn't an allergic or inherited problem. You can prevent it by keeping in good physical shape so that blood flows freely through the legs.

Mild seborrhoea can be treated and prevented with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos.

Other tips include:

  • Find out what allergens, if any, are causing your eczema and avoid them.
  • Bathe in cool or tepid water with gentle soap.
  • Avoid scratching affected areas. Keep your fingernails short. Some people wear cotton gloves at night to prevent scratching in their sleep.
  • Use moisturisers immediately after you bathe to keep the moisture locked in.
  • Don't let sweat stay on your skin. Avoid clothes that don't let the skin breathe.

Learn more about Skin Care