What is Eczema & the Treatment Available?
We are seeing more patients seeking eczema treatment these days as compared to 10 years ago. Eczema is a skin condition encompassing a wide range of diseases, in which chronic inflammation troubles the skin. Common symptoms include inflammation, itchiness, redness, roughness and cracks, in the skin surface.. However, atopic dermatitis (AD) remains the most common form of eczema. Usually, observed among children, below five years of age, the condition can linger on through adolescence and up to adulthood. It is also possible to manifest in adults.
Atopic dermatitis can affect the skin on any part of the body. The term "atopic" alludes to an allergy.It has been observed that most of the people coping with eczema are suffering allergic conditions such as asthma coupled with itchy, and red skin.
The Most Common Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis Include
- Rashes erupting in the creases of joints such as the elbows or knees
- Skin surface, in areas afflicted by rash, likely to have a lighter or darker appearance, or it could even grow thicker.
- Small bumps develop and ooze fluid, on scratching them.
- In babies, the rash could appear on cheeks or scalp.
- Possible infections if skin scratched till it bleeds.
This is an eczema that is caused by weakening of the skin's natural barrier. It leaves your skin susceptible to irritants and allergens. Genetic makeup, dry skin conditions, immunity problems, external factors like swimming, sports, and humid weather conditions can further intensify eczema, leading to bleeding or infections when skin is scratched constantly, ultimately disfiguring the skin surface. Quite often, eczema patients have to make substantial lifestyle changes due to their condition.
Contact dermatitis (caused by allergic reactions) or dyshidrosis (appearance of blisters on hands and feet), is the other significant type of eczema that we come regularly across. This condition occurs when the skin comes in contact with certain allergy-inducing substances such as detergents, paint, latex, nickel, poison ivy, perfumes, skin care products, and tobacco smoke that irritate the skin or cause allergic reactions.
The Common Symptoms of Contact Dermatitis Are;
- The skin gets itches, turns reddish, feels burning, and stinging sensations.
- Itchy bumps, also known as hives can develop on the skin.
- Formation of fluid-filled blisters that could ooze and crust over.
- The skin surface may thicken and acquire a scaly or leathery look with time.
Types of Eczema Treatment
These are some of the common Eczema Treatments:
- Over-the-counter medication: Most of these products are meant to either relieve symptoms or prevent the infection.
- Topical applications: These are medications, available on doctor’s prescription, to be applied on affected portions of the skin
2) Non-Invasive Eczema Treatment (Energy Devices)
- Phototherapy: Better known as light therapy, this eczema treatment uses a machine to generate Ultraviolet B(UVB) light. Phototherapy is certified as a safe treatment since only healthy, and controlled amounts of UVB light are released, and even the procedure is conducted under medical supervision. This treatment reduces itching, and skin inflammation, apart from enhancing the skin’s bacteria-fighting ability.
- Ultrasound Therapy: Using dual-frequency ultrasound waves, this treatment has the capability to regulate the dynamic processes involved in tissue production and destruction, which are the primary factors in the different aesthetical applications or treatment of dermatological conditions. This therapy basically uses physical energy to modulate the homeostasis of the skin and the subcutaneous tissues.
- Oral Medication
- Immunosuppressive Drugs to be taken orally : Usually prescribed in severe cases, these medications reduce inflammation by controlling the immune system response.
- Injectables Biologics: These medications work by specifically attacking the protein that causes the inflammation response.
Is There An Effective Eczema Treatment?
You must discuss these eczema treatment options with your doctor who will carefully monitor and regulate the use. This is to avoid overburdening your immune system. My approach to Eczema treatment is slightly different. I prefer to fortify the weak epidermis, so that the dermis regains health. This will reduce the inflammation which is different from the conventional medical eczema treatment that suppresses the skin’s overactive abnormal immune response.
I prescribe a treatment regimen with multiple different medical lasers, ultrasounds and energy-based devices. The use of multiple energy-based devices helps strengthen the overall health of the sufferer's skin. This treatment increases the amount of quality collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid (HA) to diminish the inflammation in the dermis. As the skin’s collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid are very important for its proper function. These components are essential for proper skin regeneration and its reduction is responsible for faster skin aging.
Multimodal energy-based treatments augment conventional treatments, the aim is to lessen and even eliminate the use of steroid creams entirely. Eczema should be viewed as a systemic disease and not only a skin disease. And every patient is unique. Therefore there can be no ‘one size fits all’ approach to treatment as well. We need to meticulously monitor and alter the settings, frequencies, and deploy energy devices in accordance with your skin’s particular nature and requirements.
Some Tips to Control Eczema Outbreaks
Here are some tips for avoid eczema flare-ups, and symptom management:
- Stay away from foods that cause or aggravate the symptoms.
- Apply cool compresses or take a baking soda bath to soothe the itch.
- Use gentle eczema-friendly moisturizers and lotions to maintain skin hydration.
- The cream must be applied to the skin, immediately after you step out of the shower, to trap the moisture.
- After you finish bathing, gently dab your skin with a soft towel. Avoid rubbing your skin too hard.
- Avoid scratching to reduce chances of infection.
- Use fragrance-free makeup, cleansers, detergents, cleansers, and other skin care products.
- Don gloves and protective clothing when handling chemicals.
- Wear clothes that are loose-fitting, and made of soft fibers such as cotton.
- Introduce Positive Lifestyle changes; Take sufficient rest, learn to relax and meditate, to control daily stress