Try An Immunomodulator Cream For Severe Eczema
If moisturizers and steroid creams don’t control outbreaks, an immunomodulator cream could help. Tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel) reduce eczema symptoms by 50 percent or more, say British researchers who reviewed 31 well-designed studies. The verdict: A 0.1 percent tacrolimus cream may be your best bet. It was about 42 percent more effective than pimecrolimus.
Tacrolimus ointment and pimecrolimus cream don’t have the skin thinning and other side effects of steroid creams, so they are often used for sensitive areas like the face or body folds. They can also be used for long-term control of eczema. Talk to your doctor about the “black box” cautions on the drugs, which warn of increased risk of skin cancer and lymphoma. Major medical weak and that these well-intentioned warnings may keep people from getting the eczema relief they need.
Soothe Your Emotions
Several studies have linked stress and anxiety with eczema outbreaks. If anger, frustration, or stress seems to trigger a rash, consider adding a little “emotional therapy” to your skin care routine. Studies show that relaxation therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (find a therapist trained in it), and biofeedback can all help. For best results, ask your dermatologist for a reference to a psychologist or program specifically for people with skin conditions.
Dress For Comfort
Rough, scratchy fabrics and clothing that’s too tight can irritate sensitive skin. Instead, choose smooth cotton weaves and knits to avoid irritation and allow skin to breathe. Avoid itchy wool and synthetic fabrics that trap sweat.
Wash all new clothes before you wear them to remove irritating chemicals used to make them look smooth and wrinkle free in the store. If you suspect that your laundry detergent or fabric softener is irritating your skin, switch to products without perfumes or dyes and rinse clothes twice in the washing machine.
Keep Your Home’s Temperature And Humidity Levels Comfortable
Too much humidity in the air can make you sweat; too little can leave skin parched and flaky. Both situations can prompt an eczema flare-up. Keeps yours humidity level comfortable by using an air conditional in a summer and a humidifier in winter if your heating system dries out the air too much. Research suggests that big temperature swings can also trigger flare-ups, so keep the temperature on an even keel.
Keep Using Your Medications
A recent study showed that patients’ use of medication recommended for eczema dropped by 60 percent within three days starting treatment – maybe because their skin improved quickly or because they were afraid side effects. Let your doctor know if you have any concerns about the treatment and how often you really use the medications so he can plan the treatment that’s best for you.
While many experts have traditionally believed that allergies trigger eczema, there’s evidence that a genetic quirk that makes skin fragile could be behind many eczema cases. Researchers in Ireland and Scotland have found a lack of filaggrin, a compound that normally makes the skin’s outer layer watertight, in up to half of adults and kids with eczema. The result: The skin dries out, and particles of dust, pollen – virtually anything – from the outside can creep in, causing irritation. While experts continue investigating this intriguing clue, researchers say it underscores the importance of protecting eczema-prone skin by slathering on moisturizers.