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What are the symptoms and treatments for eczema?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of eczema are focused on the skin but vary widely, and they can include severe itching, red patches, thickened skin, scaly skin and small bumps filled with fluid, explains Mayo Clinic. Treatments for eczema include medicinal creams, oral medications, light therapy and wet dressings.

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Full Answer

Itching from eczema often worsens at night, Mayo Clinic states. If the condition manifests as small bumps on the skin, these may ooze when scratched and can crust over. Habitual scratching due to eczema can lead to very raw, sensitive skin and increases the risk of skin infections. Both topical and oral medications are useful for controlling itching and inflammation, and injected medications also may help with the inflammation. Wet wrapping is an intensive treatment that involves wrapping an area in a wet bandage atop topical corticosteroids.

Light therapy uses ultraviolet light to treat eczema, states Mayo Clinic. This light can come from sunlight or artificial sources. It is very effective but has negative long-term effects on the condition of the skin. Most of the medications for eczema, including corticosteroids, also can harm the skin over time. People with eczema can minimize the need for medications by avoiding known irritants, keeping the skin moisturized and avoiding extremes in temperature.

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