Q:

How do you treat eczema?

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Quick Answer

Eczema is treated with medication, therapies and some home remedies, according to WebMD. Mild cases of eczema can usually be cleared up with changes in lifestyle and skin care. More severe cases may require medication.

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Full Answer

Skin care changes that may help include using a gentle cleanser that does not dry the skin, WebMD states. Patients should use moisturizer immediately after showering and reapply it once during the day. People with eczema need to avoid long, hot showers that can dry out skin. Instead, they should opt for warm, short showers. Sometimes patients can get relief from soaking in a bath that includes a small amount of bleach, which kills irritating bacteria on top of the skin.

Stress has been linked to eczema flare-ups, WebMD reports. Patients should get regular exercise and learn to different ways to manage stress.

Over-the-counter antihistamines and hydrocortisone creams can help with itching, WebMD explains. For more severe eczema cases, the doctor may give the patient prescription-strength moisturizers, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and immunomodulators. The FDA warns that immunomodulators should only be prescribed if all other treatment fails and never in children under age 2.

Some patients benefit from ultraviolet light therapy, WebMD says. It is often used on patients with severe eczema.

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