Treatment for eczema
Treatment for eczema aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flares of symptoms. Doctors will suggest a treatment for eczema plan based on an individual’s age, symptoms, and current state of health. There is currently no cure for eczema in Western medicine.
For some people, eczema goes away over time. For others, however, it is a lifelong condition.
Listed below are some most common treatments for eczema:
Medications for eczema
Medications for eczema work by blocking histamine, which triggers allergic reactions. Medication for eczema include:
- Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments: These creams for eczema are anti-inflammatory medications and should relieve the main symptoms of eczema, such as inflammation and itchiness. People can apply these creams for eczema directly to the skin. A range of topical corticosteroid creams and ointments are available online.
- Systemic corticosteroids: If topical treatments such as creams for eczema are not effective, a doctor may prescribe systemic corticosteroids. These are available as injections or oral tablets. People should only use them for short periods of time. Also, it is important to note that the symptoms may worsen upon stopping these drugs if the person is not already taking another medication for the condition.
- Antibiotics: Doctors prescribe antibiotics if eczema occurs alongside a bacterial skin infection.
- Antiviral and antifungal medications: These can treat fungal and viral infections.
- Antihistamines: These can reduce the risk of nighttime scratching, as they tend to cause drowsiness.
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors: These creams for eczema suppresses the activities of the immune system. It decreases inflammation and helps prevent flares.
- Barrier repair moisturizers: These moisturizing creams for eczema reduce water loss and work to repair the skin.
- Phototherapy: This involves exposure to UVA or UVB waves. This method can treat moderate dermatitis. A doctor will monitor the skin closely throughout the treatment.
Several antihistamines can cause drowsiness, so it’s recommended they be taken when you don’t need to be alert.
Light therapy for the treatment of eczema
The treatments for eczema, like light therapy, or phototherapy, uses ultraviolet light or sunlamps to help prevent immune system responses that trigger eczema. It requires a series of treatments and can help reduce or clear up eczema. It can also prevent bacterial skin infections.
What is Eczema?
Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy, and bumpy. It’s one of many types of dermatitis. Eczema damages the skin barrier function (the “glue” of your skin). This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness.
Eczema is not a specific disease, but rather a term that describes a group of inflammatory skin conditions that produce rash-like symptoms, such as red, itchy patches on the skin.
Different types and stages of eczema affect 31.6 million people in the United States, which is over 10% of the population. It’s often seen in babies and young children, appearing on the faces of infants. But eczema can come in a variety of types in children, teens, and adults. Read on to learn what causes the skin condition and how to treat its symptoms.
Eczema doesn’t harm your body. It doesn’t mean that your skin is dirty or infected, and it’s not contagious. There are treatments that can help manage your symptoms.
In the word “dermatitis,” “derm” means “skin” and “itis” means “inflammation.” The word as a whole means “inflammation of the skin.” “Eczema” originates from the Greek word “ekzein” which means to “boil over” or “break out.”
It is a serious inflammatory cutaneous disease. It causes the skin to become severely itchy and dry. Atopic eczema causes a level of itchiness that is so severe that it causes you to scratch so much, so your skin becomes inflamed. It starts an inflammatory reaction cycle where the inflammation causes itch and the itch leads to more inflammation and by extension more itch. What Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) do is to reduce inflammation, then the itchy and restore the body to its natural balance.
Eczema is associated with symptoms like itchiness, discomfort, and pain. Those that have the condition or those caring for people living with the condition are always on the lookout for therapies to help reduce the symptoms.
Causes of eczema
The cause of eczema is not fully understood. But it’s believed to be triggered by an overactive immune system that responds aggressively when exposed to irritants.
The causes of eczema could be the abnormal response to proteins that are part of the body. Normally, the immune system ignores proteins that are part of the human body and attacks only the proteins of invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. In eczema, the immune system loses the ability to tell the difference between the two, which causes inflammation.
An eczema flare-up is when one or more eczema symptoms appear on the skin. Possible causes of eczema include:
- Chemicals found in cleaners and detergents that dry out the skin
- Rough scratchy material, like wool
- A sudden drop in humidity
- Food allergies
- Animal dander
Types of eczema
If your skin is itchy and red from time to time, you may have eczema. Eczema and other forms of dermatitis are very common in children, but adults can get it too.
Eczema is sometimes called atopic dermatitis, which is the most common form. “Atopic” refers to an allergy. People with eczema often have allergies or asthma along with itchy, red skin.
Eczema comes in a few other forms as well. Each type of eczema has its own set of symptoms and triggers. There are several types of eczema.
Contact Eczema (Contact Dermatitis)
This type of eczema is a localized skin reaction to a substance in the environment that causes the skin to become red and itchy.
Symptoms of contact dermatitis can include:
- Dry, red, and itchy skin that may feel as though it is burning
- Hives, a type of rash that consists of small, red bumps
This type of eczema typically appears in adults under 40 years of age. It usually occurs on the hands and feet and has characteristic symptoms, including intense itching and the appearance of small blisters.
In some cases, the blisters can become large and watery. The blisters may become infected too, which can lead to pain and swelling. Discoid eczema, or nummular eczema, is recognizable due to the disc-shaped patches of itchy, red, cracked, and swollen skin that it causes.
The discs typically appear on the lower legs, torso, and forearms. Sometimes, the center of the disc clears up, leaving a ring of red skin. Discoid eczema can occur in people of any age, including children. As with other types of eczema, the causes of discoid eczema are not fully understood. However, known triggers and risk factors include:
- Dry skin
- Skin injuries, such as friction or burns
- Insect bites
- Poor blood flow
- Cold climate
- Bacterial skin infections
- Certain medications
- Sensitivity to metals and formaldehyde
Varicose eczema is also known as venous, gravitational, or stasis eczema. It is common in older adults with varicose veins. Getting older and being less active can weaken the veins in a person’s legs. This can lead to both varicose veins and varicose eczema.
Varicose eczema typically affects the lower legs and symptoms can include:
- Hot, itchy spots or blisters
- Dry, scaly skin
- Weepy, crusty patches
- Cracked skin
The skin on the lower leg may become fragile, so it is important to avoid scratching and picking at the spots and blisters.
Asteatotic eczema, also called xerotic eczema and eczema craquelé, generally only affects people over 60 years of age. This may be due to the skin becoming drier as a person ages. Asteatotic eczema typically occurs on the lower legs, but it can also appear on other parts of the body. Symptoms include:
- Cracked, dry skin with a characteristic appearance that people describe as crazy paving
- Pink or red cracks or grooves
- Itching and soreness
- As with other types of eczema, the causes of asteatotic eczema are unknown, but triggers can include:
- Dry, cold weather
- Hot baths
- Soaps and other detergents
- Excessive cleaning or scrubbing of the skin
- Rough towel drying
Symptoms of eczema
The symptoms of eczema can vary depending on the age of the person who has it. However, the main symptom of eczema is itchy, dry, rough, flakey, inflamed, and irritated skin. It can flare up, subside, and then flare up again.
Eczema can occur anywhere but usually affects the arms, inner elbows, backs of the knees, or head (particularly the cheeks and the scalp). It’s not contagious, and, in some cases, becomes less severe with age.
Other symptoms of eczema include:
- Intense itching
- Red or brownish-gray patches
- Small, raised bumps that ooze fluid when scratched
- Crusty patches of dried yellowish ooze, which can signal infection
- Thickened, scaly skin
The symptoms in children and adults may be different. The following sections will outline some of these differences in more detail.
Symptoms of eczema in infants
The following atopic dermatitis symptoms are common in infants under the age of 2:
- Rashes on the scalp and cheeks
- Rashes that bubble up before leaking fluid
- Rashes that can cause extreme itchiness, which may interfere with sleeping
Symptoms of eczema in children
The following atopic dermatitis symptoms are common in children age 2 and above:
- Rashes that appear behind the creases of elbows or knees
- Rashes that appear on the neck, wrists, ankles, and the crease between the buttocks and legs
- Bumpy rashes
- Rashes that can become lighter or darker
- Skin thickening, also known as lichenification, can then develop into a permanent itch
Symptoms of eczema in adults
The following atopic dermatitis symptoms are common in adults:
- Rashes that are more scaly than those occurring in children
- Rashes that commonly appear in the creases of the elbows or knees or the nape of the neck
- Rashes that cover much of the body
- Very dry skin on the affected areas
- Rashes that are permanently itchy
- Skin infections
Adults who developed atopic dermatitis as a child but no longer experience the condition may still have dry or easily irritated skin, hand eczema, and eye problems.
The appearance of skin affected by atopic dermatitis will depend on how much a person scratches and whether or not the skin is infected. Scratching and rubbing can further irritate the skin, increase inflammation, and make the itching worse.
Natural remedies for eczema – popular treatment for eczema
This type of treatment for eczema help calms the symptoms of eczema without causing any side effects.
Before considering any type of treatment, it is important to understand what is triggering your eczema. Knowing the irritants in your daily environment can help you manage the condition better, whether you are using traditional medicines, alternative therapies, or both.
The following complementary and alternative therapies have been studied and shown to be beneficial for some symptoms of eczema in adults. Discuss with your pediatrician if you are interested in trying alternative therapies for your child’s eczema.
Listed below are natural remedies for eczema
Home remedies for eczema – most common approach to natural treatment for eczema
Home remedies for eczema can be achieved naturally at home. There are several things that people with eczema can do to support skin health and alleviate symptoms with home remedies for eczema.
Listed below are home remedies for eczema
Apple cider vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for eczema, including skin disorders. Applying diluted apple cider vinegar could help balance the skin’s acidity levels, but vinegar can cause burns if it is not diluted.
Colloidal oatmeal, also known as Avena sativa, is made from oats that have been ground and boiled to extract their skin-healing properties. The colloidal oatmeal lotion had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, resulting in improved:
- Skin dryness
- Itch intensity
- Bathing is an important home remedy for eczema. When a person has a skin condition such as eczema, their skin needs extra moisture because the outer layer is not functioning as it should.
- Coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids that can add moisture to the skin, which can help people with dry skin and eczema. Also, virgin coconut oil may protect the skin by helping combat inflammation and by improving the health of the skin barrier.
Diet for eczema – an essential part of any natural treatment for eczema
Diet for eczema is a natural remedy for eczema. However, eating certain foods doesn’t appear to cause eczema, although it may trigger a flare-up if you already have the condition. Maintaining an eczema-friendly diet is key to overall condition management. Not everyone will have the same reactions or flare-ups to the same foods.
Below is a list of diets for eczema that contains properties that may help decrease eczema flare-ups, but getting to know your body and what foods work best for you individually is key.
- You may be able to reduce your symptoms by eating fatty fish, such as salmon and herring. Fish oil contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory.
Foods containing quercetin
Quercetin is a plant-based flavonoid. It helps give many flowers, fruits, and vegetables their rich color. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and antihistamine. This means it can reduce inflammation as well as levels of histamine in your body.
Foods high in quercetin include:
Foods containing probiotics
- Probiotic foods, such as yogurt, contain live cultures that help support a strong immune system. This may help reduce flare-ups or allergic reactions.
Herbs for eczema – effective home-based natural treatment for eczema
Herbs for eczema is a natural remedy for eczema that offers unique treatment options for these conditions, and when used correctly will address not only the symptoms but the underlying causes of eczema as well. Listed below are herbs for eczema
Samambaia (Polypodium leucotomos)
- Samambaia is an herb for eczema that is specific for skin conditions like eczema as well as improving the skin’s resistance to UV rays from the sun. It works by disabling the inflammatory process driving these conditions.
- This herb for eczema is great in combination with some of the other herbs on this list because it allows the skin to heal faster, and provides support for the symptoms.
- Sarsaparilla cleans the blood by binding and neutralizing many of the toxic compounds found in circulation. Additionally, sarsaparilla boosts liver detoxification digestive function, further addressing the underlying causes of eczema
Homeopathy – #1 natural treatment for eczema
Homeopathy for eczema is by far the safest and more or less a permanent solution for eczema. Homeopathy for eczema helps in relieving you of the irritation and swelling by aiming to treat the excess histamine release, which is the root cause of the disease. It follows the unique mind and body concept and aims to address the triggers within the body that cause the disease.
There are many homeopathic remedies for eczema which act efficiently in treating varied cases of eczema. The remedies have been proven to correct the deranged immunity which is the basic cause of the disease. Homeopathic remedies for eczema, such as Natrum muriaticum, Silicea, Sulphur, and Thuja, are generally thought of for eczema. Other homeopathic remedies for eczema such as Mezereum, Borax, and Astacus fluviatilis, are recommended for eczema on the scalp. Graphites and nitric acid are exclusive remedies recommended for eczema on the hands and palms.
Acupuncture for Eczema – an ancient Chinese natural treatment for eczema
Acupuncture for eczema can be used as a safe and natural alternative for managing eczema symptoms. Acupuncture works on the basis that the body’s internal organs have interconnecting channels where Qi (energy) flows. If there is a blockage in these channels, the flow of Qi is disrupted and the body becomes susceptible to illness.
Acupuncture for eczema is a natural remedy for eczema that removes these blockages and promotes a healthy flow of Qi inside the body. In the treatment of skin disorders such as eczema, thin, sterile needles are inserted in different acupuncture points located in the torso, legs, and arms, to stimulate them and remove any blockages. It also works on the nervous system and the pathway of itching
Acupuncture for Eczema becomes more and more popular nowadays. As we all try to go green with chemicals people are also leaning towards alternative therapies for diseases. When it comes to the treatment of eczema, more people have started looking into the advantages of alternative therapy. People now look to Traditional Chinese Medicine aka TCM for acupuncture for eczema.
So many people with skin conditions like eczema have experienced tremendous improvements and benefits from the use of acupuncture. While skeptics might suggest that the benefits gotten from acupuncture treatment for eczema might be due to the placebo effect, people usually observe that the itchy rash improves without any need for steroid use.
What are the benefits of acupuncture for eczema?
Acupuncture for eczema is a non-pharmaceutical therapy in traditional Chinese medicine that makes use of extremely thin, fine, and sterile needles to stimulate places in the body known as acupuncture points. It has been used for many years to treat various types of skin conditions and has minimal side effects. A few reasons to employ acupuncture as a treatment choice for eczema are:
Acupuncture for Eczema Reduces Itch
Itch is a major symptom of eczema, and if you have ever had this skin condition, you’ll know how uncomfortable it can be. Over the years, it has been shown that acupuncture can help reduce itching caused by eczema.
In the acupuncture practice, it is said that acupuncture for eczema helps to reduce heat, dampness, and wind as they are common causes of itch in eczema. Acupuncture can also help to reduce itch by lowering the activation of basophils. Basophils are white blood cells causing the inflammatory activities of eczema.
Acupressure Helps Reduce Burning
Acupressure has to do with the application and massage or pressure into acupuncture points. Acupressure is a great option for eczema because it is a process that you can go through by yourself. It has also shown great potential for reducing burning and other painful sensations.
Acupuncture for Eczema Helps Improve Health Overall
Symptoms of eczema also include loss of sleep, tiredness and general fatigue and acupuncture is capable of relaxing muscles and improving overall wellness. Acupuncture also helps to improve sleep, anxiety, and also leaves you with more energy.
Acupuncture for Eczema Therapy is personalized
Acupuncture for eczema is done with a specific focus and attention to your needs based on the symptoms of eczema, the appearance of eczema, and general well-being.
Acupuncture for Eczema is Safe
Besides the other benefits of acupuncture, the treatment of eczema with this therapy is a very safe one. Most often, people enjoy a relaxed and refreshed experience as after-effects of the therapy.
How acupuncture treats Eczema?
Regardless of the causes of eczema, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can treat eczema. Regular treatment with acupuncture and herbal medicine can reduce itchiness, scaling, redness, raised patches, and decrease the frequency of flare-ups.
For people who experience eczema seasonally, with allergies, or in certain weather, acupuncture can also help. When even traditional Western medications don’t seem to be working, acupuncture will.
No matter the cause of eczema, acupuncture has been proven to effectively treat skin conditions. Consistent treatment with herbal medicine and acupuncture can reduce redness, itchiness, raised patches, and be scaling. It also helps to decrease the frequency of flare-ups. People that have allergies or that experience eczema in certain weather conditions can also get help using acupuncture even when pharmaceutical products don’t seem to work.
Acupuncture for Eczema works by helping to restore the body’s natural balance, and it does this by reducing whatever is in excess in the body and building up what is deficient. In essence, what this does is relax the overactive immune system causing eczema. When using acupuncture for eczema, it is advised to use topical herbal medicine to support the acupuncture treatments and cool red inflamed skin.
Standard acupuncture for eczema treatment should take about 3 to 6 months of regular therapy sessions with herbal medicine. Treatment for flaking, redness and itching might take longer without herbal medicine.
A change in diet is important for the treatment of eczema, but without it, a complete resolution is very unlikely. The acupuncture therapy is capped by consolidating treatments to ensure symptoms don’t recur.
At the Philadelphia Acupuncture Clinic, Dr. Tsan and associates have academic and clinical experience in Acupuncture for Eczema. To make an appointment for Acupuncture Evaluation and treatment contact our clinic (267) 403-3085 or use our online scheduling system.