Paying attention at work or school isn't always so easy if your skin won't stop itching. Red, itchy skin is a common symptom of eczema, askin condition that affects more than 30 million Americans, according to the National Eczema Foundation. Your Baton Rouge and Prairieville, LA, dermatologist, Dr. W. Trent Massengale of Atlas Dermatology, offers several treatments that may help you manage your eczema symptoms.
Stopping the itch and inflammation
Scratching your eczema may offer relief for a few minutes, but the itching sensation soon returns worse than ever. If you scratch your skin so much that it bleeds, you may even develop an infection. Fortunately, you can decrease the itching with a prescription corticosteroid cream.
Unlike, over-the-counter anti-itch creams, prescription topical medications are stronger and capable of keeping annoying itching under control. Your dermatologist may also prescribe a non-steroidal medication, a topical ointment that reduces inflammation, redness, rash and lesions in mild to moderate eczema.
If you already have an infection due to scratching or cracked skin, your Baton Rouge or Prairieville skin doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. Both oral and topical antibiotics can be used to treat skin infections.
Taking advantage of the healing properties of light
Phototherapy, a treatment that uses ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to reduce eczema symptoms, can be helpful if the topical medications your skin doctor prescribes aren't helpful. Exposing your skin to UVA and UVB lights can increase your production of vitamin D and control itching and inflammation. Phototherapy may be used in addition to other treatments.
Targeting the immune system
Eczema may be your body's way of responding to a perceived attack. Once your immune system mistakenly thinks that you're under attack, it triggers a response that causes inflammation, redness and a rash. Immunosuppressants control this response, decreasing your symptoms if you have severe eczema.
Biologics may also be helpful if you have severe eczema. The medications target specific molecules involved in the immune system response rather than suppressing the entire immune system.