Samantha Stevens shares her best treatments for eczema in this short video. These powerful home remedies are highly effective in many cases.
A More Technical Look At Eczema
Eczema is a complex condition, and treatment should only be administered by a dermatologist with specialist knowledge. Treatment may be very costly. Treatment should follow certain basic principles, and chronic and severe cases of hand eczema in particular require complex treatment concepts. Besides skin care, hand protection, and external (topical) applications with preparations containing effective ingredients or light therapy, an internal (systemic) therapy may be considered.
Avoidance of catalysts, basic procedures, and skin protection
First of all, catalysts for the development of chronic hand eczema, such as skin-irritating damage, excessive contact with water or proven allergenic substances, must be strictly removed and avoided. Treatment of every type of hand eczema and degree of severity must include sustainable replenishment of the natural oils and moisture contained in the skin with creams and salves free of fragrances and preservatives; this is an essential basic step. In addition, protection procedures developed especially for the individual’s skin stresses must be applied, e.g. use of cotton or hypoallergenic plastic gloves. Depending on the individual’s own needs, these procedures should continue after the hand eczema heals, since they will also have a preventative effect.
External treatment should be oriented primarily according to the prevailing signs of illness. In the case of blister forming, drying treatments such as hand baths containing synthetic tannins or oily-moist preparations may hinder itching. If callus development exhibiting tear formation is present, the focus should be on softening the skin with preparations containingurea or salicylic acid. In order to reduce inflammation, creams and salves containing cortisone are often very effective. However, severe and chronic cases seldom respond sufficiently and require long periods of treatment which can increase the risk of side effects occurring. In individual cases, and especially in case of atopic hand eczema, the dermatologist may prefer to use cortisone-free, anti-inflammatory creams or salves, which include so-called “calcineurin inhibitors” tacrolimus or pimecrolimus.
Phototherapy can be effective in the treatment of chronic hand eczema. However, not all dermatologists or dermatology clinics offer this form of therapy, and it involves extended periods of treatment for the patient. A period of four to six weeks should involve 3 – 4 radiation sessions. The most frequently applied form of light therapy is PUVA therapy. This first treats the hands with a cream that contains an ingredient that causes the skin to become light-sensitive, the hands are then irradiated with ultraviolet A light (UV-A). After two days of treatment, a pause of one day must occur. Due to possible risks such as premature skin aging or chronic light damage caused to the skin, phototherapy cannot be considered for the long term.
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