Can Eczema Be Treated Without Medication?

Treating Eczema

Use of eczema creams for prevention and treatment of symptoms is growing in popularity among patients with eczema.  The desire to become more informed and involved in our healthcare has led to patients with chronic conditions seeking out safer, more effective treatment options.  So it is with eczema sufferers.

Where physicians were once 100% in charge of diagnosing and treating the condition, we now see patients bringing their own ideas and options to the table.  Second opinions and conversations about statistics and risk vs. benefits have become common in exams rooms.  Where once the acceptable treatment for eczema consisted of prescription medications to treat flare ups, we now see patients (and parents of infants with eczema) looking for ways to not only treat the symptoms more safely, but to prevent flare ups from happening in the first place.

Treat Eczema Immediately

Research has supported the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” when it comes to eczema management.  Just as an asthma sufferer strives to limit exposure to triggers that may cause a distressful and potentially serious attack, patients with eczema now work with their doctors to identify triggers to flare ups and develop a plan to prevent contact with them.  We are now learning the value of daily skin care in prevention of outbreaks.  Application of a non-prescription eczema cream after bathing locks in moisture and provides a barrier to triggers and bacteria.

When weighed against the side effects of corticosteroid ointments, (once the standard for treatment of flare ups) the value of daily skin care is obvious. Ongoing or repeated use of these medications can cause thinning of the skin, infections, stretch marks, and growth suppression in children.  Systemic (oral form) corticosteroids can cause weakening of the bones and has been associated with hypertension, elevated blood sugars, infections and cataracts.  More recent use of medications that lower the immune system have been known to cause high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, kidney failure, increased rate of infection and cancer.  Many times symptoms return once the drug is stopped.

Eczema Cream for Intense itching

Because of the dangerous side effects, use of corticosteroids and immune system altering drugs should be reserved for stubborn cases and used for a limited time. When weighing risks with benefits, eczema sufferers overwhelmingly prefer use of eczema cream as their treatment of choice.

Not only is daily skin care important to prevent flare ups, daily application of an eczema cream can help decrease intense itching, prevent skin damage and infection, and promote healing.   Other non-medication treatment methods include phototherapy (exposure to UV light) for patients over 12 years of age who have moderate symptoms.  Control of stress through imagery, relaxation techniques and participation in leisure activities can help prevent flare ups and reduce the severity. As hope for a cure continues, patients and physicians working together provide the best hope for keeping the patient safe and comfortable. Eczema must be treated properly.

Identifying Eczema Triggers