Friday, April 3, 2009

Atopic Eczema Treatment Tips and Advice

Eczema is derived from a Greek word that means to boil. It is a skin condition that leads to inflammation resulting in pustules forming on the skin. It is a common chronic skin disorder worldwide. It can affect people of all age groups but is most common among children. It causes redness, itching, dryness and flakiness of the skin. It affects the wrists, hands, neck, arms, face, back of the knees, upper chest and scalp. For eczema scalp treatment, medicated shampoos that contain selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, coal tar, zinc pyrithione and salicyclic acid are recommended. It usually flares up from time to time, and is not contagious.

Another term for eczema is atopic dermatitis. Atopic eczema is most common in children under five years of age. After the age of 20, it is quite uncommon to develop this condition. Atopic eczema treatment consists of three parts. First is to avoid any type of irritant to the skin and other factors that trigger the symptoms. Second, use emollients every day so that development of inflammation is prevented. Thirdly, use topical steroids whenever eczema flares up.

An effective atopic eczema treatment is to avoid the use of soaps when washing, as they tend to dry the skin. Try not to scratch the affected area. In babies, use anti-scratch mittens, and for others, keep the nails short. To relieve the itch, rub the area with your fingers, not your nails. Try to wear cotton clothes rather than fabrics that can irritate the skin. Avoid getting into extreme temperatures, and use detergent that is suitable for sensitive skin.

Dry skin flares up easily and gets inflamed. Creams, lotions, and ointments offer an effective atopic eczema treatment. There are various brands available, and it has been observed that greasier, thicker ointments show better results, but are also messier to use. Use them liberally every day after the bath, and keep using even after the skin appears fine. Various atopic eczema treatment preparations are also available in the form of shower gels and bath additives.

Topical steroids are used for atopic eczema treatment when more eczema patches flare up. Use of these steroids must be stopped after the inflammation is gone, which usually takes 7-14 days.

If even after using all the various atopic eczema treatments, the condition gets worse, see your doctor, who may increase the strength of topical steroid, change the emollients currently being used, or give a dose of antibiotics.

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