Eczema Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

If you’ve seen popular pharmacy commercials, you may have asked yourself what eczema is. Over 30 million American suffer from eczema, including children, men and women.  Children commonly develop eczema on their face and all over the body. Eczema is itchy and produces red inflamed skin almost anywhere on the body. It can appear on the arms, legs, face, or stomach.  Often it is embarrassing and annoying for those that have it.

The skin is often dry, with rough or scaly patches of skin, and sometimes it becomes crusted and oozes due to scratching. Environmental factors often cause eczema. They are using certain soaps or crème, heat and cold, allergies to food, bacteria, and hormones. They are several types of eczema that can develop on the skin.

It is patches of dry rough skin, red inflamed blotches, blisters, crusting, and rashes. Some forms are more serious than other and cause infections. It is important to seek treatment with this condition.

Types of Eczema

Atopic dermatitis is the most common form. It develops on the arm, legs and face. It is red scaly itchy skin. Dyshidrotic eczema is when blisters form on hands, toe, palms and sole of the feet. It is more common in women than men. Hand eczema is dry red irritated skin on the hands. It often develops in those that work in cleaning, food service, healthcare and mechanical jobs.

 Other types of eczema are contact dermatitis, neurodermatitis, and the nummular a type that looks different than other types and is difficult to treat. It produces sports that look like coins on the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis is often found where there are oil producing glands like the back, face, and scalp. Statis eczema is another form and often is caused by problems with veins in the legs.

No matter what type of eczema you have a diagnose by a dermatologist is needed to get the right treatment. With so many different types there are many different treatments.

Read more: Eczema and Scar Heal Treatment Options

Treatments for Eczema

Natural and Alternative Treatments

Some doctors manage eczema with natural treatments.  Check with your doctor before using these treatments. They are often used as an additional treatment to traditional treatments.  Some studies find using coconut oil on eczema reduces bacteria and infections. Sunflower oil is known to keep the moisture in the skin. Often to relieve stress meditation, acupuncture, and massage are practiced by patients in addition.

Bathing and Moisturizing

Bathing or showering in lukewarm water is effective in helping with eczema according to the National Eczema Association.  Use lukewarm water when showering and soaking for about 20 minutes. Use a gentle cleanser not soap. Afterwards use a moisturizer on the skin. Check with your doctor on proper techniques for bathing and showering.


In cases of severe eczema dermatologists often prescribe medications. One type is immunosuppressant’s a drug that helps control inflammation and the immune system.  There are three that are commonly used for eczema. They are cyclosporine, methotrexate, and mycophenolate.  Some side effects of these drugs are infections, upset stomach, and increased blood pressure.


Often dermatologist recommends using different type of moisturizers during treatment. They are ointments, eczema creams, lotions and wet wraps.  Ointments are used because they have high oil content. Often petroleum jelly and mineral oil are used. Creams are often used to add moisture to the skin. Ask your dermatogist for a good brand to use for your condition.

Lotions contain the least amount of oil and more water. Your dermatologist can recommend a good lotion to use for your eczema. Wet wraps are used for eczema that is moderate to severe.  They have a cooling effect on the skin and help with itching. They should be used under the guidance of your doctor.


Sometimes a doctor uses light therapy to treat this condition. The most common type is narrowband ultraviolet B light.  This helps to reduce itching, increase Vitamin D production in the skin, reduces inflammation, and helps fight infection. About 70% of people with eczema get better with this therapy.  It often requires two or three treatments weekly and should be recommended by the doctor.

Non Streoirdal Medications

Topical medications called calcineurin inhibitors are often applied to the skin. They stop the immune system from producing eczema symptoms.  They help prevent the redness and itching that is so annoying.  This is only used for a short period of time.  They should only be used on parts of body with eczema.  There are some side effects from this medication for some patients.

Topical Cortiscoids

This is one of the most common types of medications prescribed for eczema.  It is a steroid and is very effective in treating the disease. They have been used over 50 years in medications for skin conditions. There are number of different types and your dermatologist will prescribe the best one for your condition. Some are stronger than other. When used properly these medications often help control and cure exezema.

Don’t despair if you suffer from eczema there are many different eczema treatments that can relieve symptoms. Don’t suffer contact a dermatologist to find the best treatment for your type of eczema. 

By Joan Russell