Currently there is no known cure for eczema, so therapy is mainly symptomatic. The standard treatment of eczema involves several different areas of focus, and therefore education is key in successfully managing this condition.
First-line therapy for the treatment of eczema includes:
- Avoidance of known triggers, including allergens and irritants (see What is Eczema?)
- Hydration: bathing helps restore water content to the skin, and can reduce allergens and bacteria on the skin.
- Moisturization: lubrication of the skin helps to decrease itching and irritation and prevents water loss. Skin should be moisturized immediately following bathing, and should be done with products free of scent and dyes.
- Antihistamines: these are used mainly to control itching and are therefore of major importance, as they help interrupt the itch/scratch cycle.
- Corticosteroids: topical corticosteroids are the mainstay of treating eczema because they reduce inflammation and itching and are effective for all levels and severity of disease. They are available in many different potencies (strengths) based on severity and area to be treated.
- Immunomodulators: these are also topical treatments that are used at the onset of flares of eczema to assist in preventing more severe disease.
Additional treatment options include:
- Antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals: these are used in cases where the patient is experiencing a secondary infection of their eczema.
- The biologic medication Dupixent is also approved for the treatment of eczema, and is administered via subcutaneous injection