Eczema is a group of conditions causing a red, often itchy, rash. There are sometimes tiny blisters under the skin. It is a type of inflammation, and the immune system plays a crucial role. Stress really can make things worse.
- It can come up rapidly and / or stay a long time, typically with thickening.
- Almost one in five people will experience eczema at some point.
- It is partly caused by genetics and / or irritants in the environment, including soap.
- Whilst there is no cure, there are lots of excellent ways to manage it once you know how.
There are three key elements to treatment:
- Moisturisers. These are probably the most important part of the treatment. They protect, hydrate and switch off inflammation in the skin. There is no ‘best’ moisturiser, the one you like is best for you. Lives are busy with work, children and everything else, but if you can put these on twice a day that’s ideal. Once a day is much better than nothing, but it does need to be applied regularly. Try a few from your pharmacy and see how you get on.
- Soap Substitutes. These avoid soaps. There is no such thing as ‘gentle’, ‘mild’ or even ‘baby’ soap. They all dry your skin and reverse the good work you have done with the moisturisers. Various companies produce specific washes or shower gel substitutes. You can use many of the moisturisers too. It is important to realise that your skin will feel very different when washing with soap substitutes, but it is still clean!
- Anti-inflammatories. These range through steroid creams and ointments, other topical agents, to tablets. These need to be tailored individually as there is not a ‘one size fits all’. A specialist can guide you through this.
To book an appointment with Dr Adam Rosen, Specialist Dermatologist, please contact us on 01722 340 057.
Please don’t despair, there really is an effective treatment out there for you.