Eczema can be quite a bothersome skin condition to cope with regardless of how frequently you get flare-ups or how severe your symptoms are. The most important aspect of managing your eczema symptoms such as irritation and itching is devising the most effective treatment plan with your doctor for your particular case.
In general, the primary goals of eczema treatment include:
- Relieving the itch
- Improving the appearance of the skin
- Preventing outbreaks
- Preventing potential skin infections
Determining the right treatment is highly dependent on a variety of factors such as your age group, family history of certain conditions, medical history, and the severity of your eczema symptoms. In most cases, patients most effectively improve their symptoms through relying on a combination of treatments, and self-care strategies such as avoiding triggers and moisturizing on a regular basis are also paramount. However, one thing most effective eczema treatment plans have in common is the use of potent eczema ointments.
There is a huge variety of eczema creams and ointments available in relieving inflammation, irritation, and itching. That said, everyone responds treatments differently and needs to find the most effective therapy for their particular case.
Ointments containing corticosteroids. Ointments and creams containing hydrocortisone steroids are a highly effective form of eczema treatment, especially in reducing inflammation and easing itching. There are many ointments with varying strengths; the ones that are available over-the-counter are ideal for mild-to-moderate cases of eczema and prescription-strength ointments are also available for more severe symptoms.
In treating mild eczema, doctors typically initially recommend patients try an over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointment. However, even with non-prescription corticosteroid ointments, long-term use of these medicines can be adverse side effects including stretching and thinning of the skin.
Ointments containing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. There is a new ointment on the market called Eucrisa (crisaborole) which is an anti-inflammatory cream that is steroid-free. This ointment may be helpful in relieving mild-to-moderate eczema symptoms such as inflammation if applied twice daily. Eucrisa can also be effective in repairing the skin’s appearance.
The National Eczema Association has a section on their website dedicated to recommended eczema products, each with a description and rating. As a rule of thumb, you should be looking for an ointment or cream that is lanolin-free and contains essential ceramides to restore the protective function of the skin’s barrier. Aveeno, Avène, Curél, and CeraVe have some of the best topical products for the eczema-prone skin.
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