Eczema is a chronic skin condition. It is not contagious. It causes dry itchy and flaky skin. It results in intense itching of the affected parts of the skin. Although eczema affects all ages, it usually appears in early childhood. Hence it is commonly found to affect babies, between the age group of 2 months to 6 months and toddlers.
It is extremely important to consult the health care professional before starting any new treatment regimen. Children usually grow out of this skin condition and no special treatment is needed. In some cases, eczema lasts well into adulthood and becomes a chronic skin condition.There is no permanent cure for eczema, but through proper treatment, eczema can be controlled.
Treatment can be classified into three main categories.
- Preventive Treatment
The irritants that flare up the eczema or worsen the existing symptoms of eczema must be identified and avoided. Other allergens that are notorious to bring an attack of eczema are food products such as egg, soy, wheat, gluten, milk and milk products, as well as sea food such as shellfish and crab.
- Symptomatic treatment
The symptoms of eczema include dry skin, patchy redness and intense itchiness. Moisturizers are used to relieve the dryness of cream. Eczema, especially in children and babies causes considerable anxiety to the parents and the primary care givers who may then resort to a range of topical creams and applications that are readily available in supermarkets these days. However, it is necessary to consult the health care professional before starting any new treatment regimen as the chemicals in the creams may irritate the skin and flare up an attack of eczema. The doctor may prescribe topical applications to treat the itchiness of skin.
- Treating secondary infections and associated symptoms
In many people suffering from eczema, the constant skin irritation and the itchiness lead to constant scratching. As a result of this the skin lesions may get infected by bacteria and viruses. Impetigo is a bacterial infection that can appear on the top of the lesions. In these cases the health care professional may resort to the use of antibiotics. Some people also suffer from other conditions such as asthma and hay fever along with eczema. So the health care professional often prescribes medicines that control the associated allergies.