Eczema? These itching localized on the skin which is sometimes so intense that it disturbs sleep, how to soothe? Because eczema is not a rare infection of the skin, it is even the most frequent dermatosis in France which motivates 30% of consultations with the dermatologist. So why do we get eczema? Are there several forms and what are the means to treat and prevent it?
Ezcema: what types?
There are two types of eczema: allergic eczema and so-called atopic eczema.
- – Allergic eczema: contact or food (eggs, peanuts, nuts, milk, red fruits etc.) it results from an abnormal reaction of the skin to an allergen. It can be an allergy to a household product, to make-up, to toxic substances contained in industrial paint or construction materials, we then speak of chemical allergens. Allergic eczema can also appear in the spring, when pollen is being produced.
- – So-called atopic eczema: generally constitutional, it is more difficult to treat. It is also the most common form. It usually affects children (sometimes from birth) but can also last during adolescence and adulthood.
Atopic eczema: how to treat the hands, the face?
Atopic eczema usually manifests itself as:
- – itches
- – red patches
- – very dry and damaged skin
- – extreme responsiveness
The explanation given by the doctor to specify the mode of evolution of atopic eczema and to explain how to recognize the signs of an attack, is part of the treatment. So do not hesitate to ask very clearly how to use the treatment and understand your disease. Your pharmacist can also provide you with information if you have any doubts or questions about the treatment.
Drug treatments for atopic eczema of the body, hands, face …
On medical prescription, topical corticosteroids remain the reference local treatment to be applied to eczema lesions in the form of a cream when the lesions are oozing, in the folds or in the form of ointments when the lesions are rather dry and thickened. There are also spray formulas for macerated lesions of the folds, scalp and hair regions. This treatment is effective in case of eczema flare to calm the inflammation and itching but it does not prevent recurrence. The topical corticosteroid should generally be applied once a day to areas with lesions and it is not necessary to massage to penetrate the product. The application of the product stops when the lesion has disappeared.
In case of severe or bothersome itching, the doctor may additionally prescribe an antihistamine for a short time. In case of bacterial superinfection and only in this case, the doctor can prescribe oral or local antibiotics, as well as antiseptics.
If treatment with topical corticosteroids fails, it is possible to apply a local immunomodulator (Tacrolimus Protopic®) which will act on the immune system.
Warning: this prescription is reserved for skin specialist in west delhi and pediatricians and sun exposure is not recommended during treatment.
Sometimes, the treatment of eczema also involves psychological support because attacks can be favored by stress. Finally, you should know that atopic eczema does not interfere with the child’s normal immunization schedule
Daily treatments and care for atopic eczema of the body, hands, face …
As a prevention and / or in addition to the treatment prescribed by the doctor, simple measures can be applied to increase the effectiveness of the treatment and to space the outbreaks:
- – Do not irritate the skin further. For this: a single quick daily shower is sufficient.
- – Use only soap-free bars or mild soap-free cleansers.
- – For a bath: do not add anything to the bath water: no soaps or foaming products.
- – Dry the skin by dabbing without rubbing.
- – Wear cotton clothes as synthetic materials or wool can irritate the skin.
- – Avoid exposure to tobacco or allergenic substances (animal hair, dust mites). To do this, ventilate the rooms for 10 minutes every day.
- – Pay attention to the choice of detergent and in particular do not use those which contain phosphates or incorporated softeners.
- – Apply a very moisturizing emollient cream which restores the barrier function of the skin and prevents new outbreaks. To apply 2 times a day but in case of outbreaks avoid the application of this cream on very inflammatory areas.
How to treat atopic eczema?
Homeopathic treatments for atopic eczema
Warning: alternative medicine should not replace the treatment prescribed by the doctor or dermatologist. They must come in addition and for a care adapted to each type of eczema, the consultation of a homeopathic doctor must be carried out. He can then decide on which axis to act to treat atopic eczema: drainage of the skin, local treatment, treatment of inflammation, associated signs, etc. Among the different strains that can be used:
- – Apis Melifica and Belladona for the inflammatory aspect of the lesions.
- – Rhus Tox and Croton Tiglium in the presence of vesicles.
- – Mezereum, Graphites, Antimonium Crudum in case of oozing eczema.
- – Arsenicum Album, Natrum Sulfuricumen case of dry eczema with desquamation.
- – Staphysagria in case of itching with few lesions.
- – Other strains may be offered depending on the location on the body of the eczema.
- – Calendula ointment or cream can be combined as an additional local treatment for eczema lesions.
Treatments for atopic eczema in herbal medicine
Be careful with products from plants in case of eczema because some natural products such as products containing propolis, honey, sweet almond oil, peanut or even hazelnut are very allergenic.
Among the plants for local use:
- – Plantain: it is a very common plant in all regions of France and it has a real soothing power in the different types of eczema.
- – Aloe Vera, thanks to its emollient properties, is widely used in dermatology. However, you should choose a drugstore product with purified Aloe Vera and do a tolerance test on the skin beforehand.
- – German Chamomile is recognized for its anti-inflammatory, healing and antiseptic skin properties. Emollient creams based on this plant allow a relay in the treatments.
- – Finally, calming linden baths can be carried out to calm the itching at the rate of 150g of leaves in 1 liter infused (for a child: 60g) for 30 minutes and poured into the bath water.