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Skin Care and Diseases

Eczema

04/03/2008

Question:

I have been suffering with eczema for years on my neck, arms, shoulers, back, toes, and chest in patches. This is very embarrassing to me. Is there a cure or an ointment that you can recommend? Please help me stop itching.

Answer:

There is no cure for eczema. The condition waxes and wanes in most individuals and can be aggravated by stress, cold and/or dry weather, infection, and dry skin. Moisturizing the skin on a daily basis is crucial for lessening the condition. Avoid drying soaps.

Treatments include topical steroids (cortisone creams of various strengths prescribed by the dermatologist), topical anti-inflammatory creams such as pimecrolimus cream and tacrolimus ointment, special creams to help restore the skin barrier, and anti-itch pills to help you sleep through the night. If the eczema is bad, light therapy, steroids by mouth or injection, and other medications that suppress the immune system may be needed. Oral antibiotics can help if the skin gets infected from scratching. I recommend you see a board certified dermatologist if possible for your treatment.

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Response by:

Pranav   Sheth, MD Pranav Sheth, MD
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati