Eczema Medication

doctor talking to patient about eczema medicationIf you are suffering from eczema then it is likely that your doctor will want to start looking into the idea of supplying you with medication to help clear up your symptoms. It is worth noting that medication for eczema tends to be a last resort when dealing with the condition. This is in part down to the fact that most cases of eczema, particularly the most mild of them, can be cleared up by going down the natural route rather easily.

Your doctor may only wish to prescribe you with eczema medication if no other treatments that you have utilized seem to be working. It is also worth noting that eczema medication will only treat the symptoms of your condition. It will not get rid of the eczema once and for all unfortunately. There is currently no cure for eczema, although rest assured there are medical researchers out there who are working incredibly hard when it comes to devising one!

Emollients

One of the main symptoms of eczema is a dry scalp. This is what leads to the flaking and the itchiness of the condition. This is why one of the most important medications that you can use for the treatment of eczema is emollients.

Emollients are moisturizers at heart. Their job is to reduce the amount of water that your skin loses and provide a sort of protective barrier over the impacted area. This will result in the skin feeling a lot less dry and it is ultimately going to be a lot harder for it to start flaking. Some emollients on the market are known to have a sort of anti-inflammatory impact on the area but this is likely to be very minor if it occurs. There are plenty of other medications on the market which are much more likely to deal with the inflammation than the emollients. Your doctor will most likely be able to recommend a fair few that you can find.

There are a number of different emollients on the market. It is worth noting that what may work for one person may not necessarily work for another person. All emollients that you use will be applied topically only. You can apply these as often as you like, although the majority of people will not need to apply the moisturizer more than once or twice a day.

When you are in the market for emollients it is important that you choose one which best fits your symptoms. I suggest that you choose one which tends to be high in oil. This means going down the route of ointments. They are going to make you feel a bit greasier, particularly if you are working with your scalp eczema, but they are going to be a whole lot more effective. You should try and avoid lotion, not because it is bad but simply down to the fact that it is low in oil. This means that the lotion is going to provide less protection for your scalp.

It is worth noting that no emollient will be effective forever. Once your body starts to get used to the emollient then it is likely that it will start to have less of an impact. If you continue to use the moisturizer over a long period of time then you may find that instead of having a positive impact on your eczema it will end up making it a whole lot worse. When this happens you should try and find a different product to use. If you still can’t find something that is effective for your scalp then you should talk to a doctor who will most likely be more than happy to prescribe you with something to help you out.

Topical Corticosteroids

This type of medication can only be prescribed by your doctor. It will also only be prescribed if no other medication is working. We will come onto the reason as to why that is the case in a second.

Topical corticosteroids, as the name suggests, are steroids. There are three different types of corticosteroids available on the market at the moment. The doctor will select which one is best based upon the symptoms that you are dealing with. It will be one of these three:

  • Hydrocortisone will be prescribed if you are dealing with a minor case of eczema which does not seem to be responding to any other form of treatment.
  • If you are suffering from slightly more severe eczema then it is likely that you will be prescribed clobetasone butyrate.
  • If you are dealing with incredibly severe eczema then your doctor will want to look into the idea of prescribing you with mometasone.

As I mentioned at the start of this section; it is unlikely that your doctor will prescribe you with this medication for long periods of time. Sure; it is effective, but these products are steroid-based. As you may well know; steroid-based medications can have a negative impact on the skin if they are used for long periods of time. The side-effects can be quite severe too. It is likely that your doctor will prescribe you the steroids for a week or two at a time.

At the end of the prescription you will be required to go back to your doctor who will take a look at how effective the treatment has been and how much of a negative impact the steroids have had on your skin. If the treatment has been effective but there has been very little in the way of a negative impact on your skin then your doctor will prescribe you with the medication for a short period of time again. You are then going to need to repeat this process.

Do make sure that when you are using corticosteroids you follow the directions on the packet correctly. If you go and do your own thing then it is likely that you will end up with far worse side-effects from using the steroids and that means you will be unable to continue usage of them on a longer basis.

Antihistamines

As you may well know; eczema causes a great deal of itchiness. It can be unbearable at times to say the least. As you may also know; you do not want to be scratching your eczema as this will end up making your symptoms a whole lot worse. This is why you need to utilize antihistamines. Your doctor will be able to prescribe them to you, although you may be able to purchase a few milder forms of the medication ‘over the counter’.

The antihistamines will block the impact that histamines (a compound found in the blood) will have on your system. As you may well know; histamines are the body’s response to an allergic reaction. When the impact of the histamines is blocked you will notice that the itching goes away pretty quickly. Most people will find that their symptoms disappear within a couple of days of using this medication, even in the most severe of cases.

It is however worth noting that antihistamines can make you feel incredibly tired when used. This means that you should not be driving or operating heavy machinery if you use them. You should also not be performing any task which requires you to be alert at all times. If you find that the antihistamines are making you too drowsy then it is likely that your doctor will be able to prescribe you with non-drowsy versions, although be aware that they are nowhere near as effective as the other medication available on the market.

Antibiotics

In some cases it is likely that your eczema will become infected. If your eczema does become infected then it is important that you talk to your doctor as soon as you possibly can as infected eczema can make the problem a whole lot worse. Perhaps the best way in which to clear up the infection will be through the use of antibiotics. These will be prescribed orally or in a topical form. It will depend on the severity of your symptoms.

The antibiotics will essentially kill all of the bacteria that is causing the infection. This will lead to a huge reduction in inflammation and any symptoms that you may be suffering from. You will not be prescribed the antibiotics on a long-term basis though. This is because the bacteria, over time at least, will start to build up a tolerance to the antibiotics. This will make the infection a lot harder to clear up. If you are suffering from regular infections then your doctor may wish to look into other solutions for dealing with them as opposed to constantly supplying you with antibiotics. After a couple of weeks of not using the antibiotic then you will be able to use them again.

Read more about eczema treatment options here