Eczema cannot be cured, though it may slowly get better over time. The control of the itch is important, as it improves the child's quality of life and sleep and helps prevent complications. Complications of uncontrolled eczema include frequent skin infections and lichenification (a thickening of the skin, making it look like tree bark, and is difficult to reverse).
Five main areas of therapy are:
When the skin is dry, it is prone to itching and cracking which allows allergens to enter the skin and worsen the eczema. Moisturisers can be applied to all parts of the body including the face. You can use the moisturiser recommended by your doctor or any brands available in the market that do not contain alcohol or scents.
As woollen and synthetic clothing may irritate the skin, cotton clothing is more suitable. Detergents and harsh soaps are irritants and so is a child's saliva. If house dust mites are an aggravating factor, your doctor may recommend methods to reduce the house dust mites in your home. When eczema begins at 1 to 2 years of life, food allergy may be involved. Please consult your doctor for a thorough evaluation.
- Anti-inflammatory topical medication
Your doctor may prescribe other medications to reduce inflammation on the skin. Steroid creams are generally safe and very effective in clearing eczema. They should only be used as prescribed by your doctor.
Doctors may also prescribe topical or anti-itch medications to decrease the itch and help your child sleep at night. These supplement moisturisers and topical steroids.
- Anti-bacterial medication
Some bacteria may aggravate the eczema. Antiseptic washes may be of help. For acute skin infections, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics.