While eczema itself is often not a serious problem on its own, eczema-related infections can be quite serious and require immediate attention. As such, it’s important to do everything you can to minimize the discomfort brought about from eczema so you don’t make the problem any worse. Here are some ways to prevent infection, cracking, and discomfort in your eczema.
There is currently no way to cure eczema. However, you can do plenty to mitigate or prevent eczema outbreaks by avoiding situations and environments that might trigger them. These triggers differ for each individual, but they’re often related to dry, irritable skin. Common triggers include prolonged hot showers and baths, tight-fitting clothing, and allergens like pollen and dust. As the years go by, you’ll become more familiar with the factors and materials that cause an eczema rash, which will allow you to stay away from such triggers and avoid further complications.
As mentioned above, dry skin is both a factor and symptom in the vast majority of eczema cases. Therefore, keeping your skin hydrated is a crucial step in preventing outbreaks as well as alleviating discomfort and other eczema symptoms. Find a moisturizer cream or ointment that gets along with your skin type. Certain products may actually further irritate your skin and/or clog your pores. Ask your dermatologist for advice on choosing the right moisturizer for you.
Maintaining hydrated skin and avoiding potential triggers will help you prevent eczema flare-ups, but when these flare-ups occur there are several eczema treatment options to help mitigate symptoms, reduce discomfort, and guard against infection. The most common treatments are topical medications that control itching and speed up skin repair, such as corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors. To treat more severe eczema, dermatologists might suggest that you use oral medications (typically corticosteroids) to reduce inflammation. The goal of all these treatments is to decrease your risk of infection by allowing your skin to heal faster and lower your urge to scratch and pick at your rashes.
If certain eczema treatments aren’t working for you, or you would rather try something else, you might consider a number of natural eczema remedies instead. As with any kind of treatment, results may vary from patient to patient, and not all doctors will agree on their effectiveness. Still, some patients have shown positive results from these remedies, which include essential oils, probiotics (in conjunction with antibiotics), soaps and ointments containing emollients, oatmeal baths for soothing eczema outbreaks, and herbal supplements to prevent eczema flares. Under your doctor’s supervision, it may be worth trying some of these options if little else is helping your condition.
No matter how well you take care of your skin, avoid triggers, and/or treat your eczema symptoms, sometimes your condition may worsen. If this is the case, you may have an infection or other complications, and it’s important that you see a doctor or dermatologist to assess your skin for viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Depending on the type of infection you have, you may be prescribed topical or oral antibiotics, steroids, or anti-fungal medication.
Taking control over your eczema symptoms is the best way to avoid infections. With proper prevention and treatment methods, you can minimize your discomfort and reduce your risk of further complications. Premier Dermatology has resources and experts to help you handle your eczema and other skin problems. To learn more about our team and all the services we provide, contact us today.