With the eczema treatment, the inflammatory reaction of the skin is reduced. For many people, eczema is a temporary phenomenon that will go away on its own, but for others, eczema is a chronic or recurrent skin condition that can seriously affect daily life. Medical Center Jan van Goyen offers various eczema treatments at the dermatology outpatient clinic. Treatment can consist of lifestyle advice, medication and/or light therapy.
The Symptoms of Eczema
Eczema comes in different forms. Common signs of eczema include thickened skin, red spots, bumps, itching, blisters, scaling, and sometimes scabs. People who suffer from eczema usually also have dry skin. Symptoms of eczema include:
- Scaly and red cracked patches on the skin of your arms, hands, ears, feet or legs
- Small blisters that are filled with fluid and can burst into wounds
- Itchy and burning skin with the feeling of always wanting to scratch
- Infections of the skin by scratching the wounds
- Skin blistering due to acute eczema
- Pigment changes
There are several ways to treat eczema, but the most important thing is not to let your skin dry out.
The treatment of eczema
Eczema is treatable but not curable. Eczema treatments are aimed at reducing inflammatory reactions of the skin. Treatment is usually only aimed at the area where the rash occurs (local treatment). Depending on the severity of the eczema, there are various treatment options.
We determine during the intake interview which treatment method is suitable for you. During this first consultation, we will discuss which complaints you are experiencing from your eczema and we will draw up a tailor-made treatment plan. You will then receive advice for home use. Depending on your specific eczema complaints, we determine the frequency of the follow-up consultations. The most common treatment methods are:
- Creams or ointments: with good skin care, eczema attacks can be largely treated and limited. In mild forms of eczema, lubrication with an ointment or cream is enough.
- Coal Tar Products: these products have an anti-inflammatory and cooling effect. They are for external use only and are anti-itching.
- Prescription Medicines: there are both internal (antihistamines) as external (corticosteroids) medicines for the treatment of eczema. These drugs are prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist.
- Light therapy: in some cases, light therapy is used to treat eczema. Sunlight has a positive effect on eczema in many people. During the treatment, the skin is treated with UV-B light. Light therapy is always in consultation with a doctor or dermatologist.
- Systemic Therapy: In severe eczema that does not respond sufficiently to ointments or light therapy, immunosuppressant drugs are often prescribed.
The types of eczema
There are different types of eczema, all of which can have different symptoms and causes. Also, one form of eczema is more serious than the other. In addition, the location of the condition also determines the type of treatment.
This form of eczema is the most common and is also called atopic eczema, or dewworm when it occurs in babies. Atopic eczema mainly occurs in babies but can also occur later in life. It can be present for a short time or become chronic. The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown.
Allergic contact dermatitis
This form is caused by an allergic reaction when the person comes into contact with certain substances to which he or she is allergic. These substances are also called allergens. Practice has shown that there are many substances that can lead to an allergic reaction. Examples of such substances are chemical products, cosmetic ingredients, vegetable substances and metals.
Ortho-ergic contact dermatitis
This form of contact dermatitis is caused by irritants such as solvents and soaps. This form occurs in everyone to a greater or lesser extent. A common example of irritating contact dermatitis is diaper dermatitis.
Crackle eczema (dehydration)
This form is also called asteatotic eczema. Crackle eczema mainly occurs in the elderly and is largely seasonal. In winter, crackle eczema is common. It is characterized by dry skin with pale red cracks and occurs mainly on the lower legs of the elderly.
Hypostatic eczema (fluid retention)
This form mainly occurs in the elderly and is also called venous eczema, gravity eczema and varicose eczema. It is a skin condition that develops in people with a less well-functioning vein system in the legs. It mainly occurs on the lower legs and ankles. The lower legs are often swollen due to the accumulation of fluid, also known as edema.
This form is also called Dyshidrotic eczema or blistering eczema. It is characterized by itchy blisters on the palms, soles, and/or sides of fingers and toes. While the exact cause is often unknown, acrovesicular eczema can result from a fungal infection.
This form usually occurs in the elderly and can occur without any apparent cause. Nummular eczema is characterized by round, itchy patches of eczema that vary in size. It usually occurs on the legs but can also occur on the arms, hands or feet.
This form of eczema is very persistent and is characterized by large, painful fissures in the palms of the hands and on the fingers. In people with tylotic eczema, there is mainly itching and burning pain. This form of eczema is very rare and most common in middle-aged men.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a collective term for skin conditions characterized by red, dry and scaly skin and is accompanied by itching. Eczema occurs in all age groups and can be caused by health problems, allergic reactions and overload, among other things. However, eczema can also arise from a hereditary predisposition or have no identifiable cause at all. Eczema is not contagious.
Eczema is a chronic condition that is unpredictable. There are periods when the eczema is hardly present, but it can also happen that you suffer from eczema for a longer period of time. With the right treatment, eczema can be kept under control. The most important thing is to avoid the factors that dry out the skin and make the eczema worse. Think of certain soaps, cleaning products, toiletries and perfume.
Causes of Eczema
The exact cause of eczema is unknown. It is probably caused by a combination of different factors and heredity is an important element. The inflammatory reaction in the skin is often caused by an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity. What causes this reaction varies from person to person. Having dry skin can trigger and even worsen the eczema.
Our skin serves as a shield that prevents unwanted substances from entering. The skin is kept supple and soft by moisture and fat. When the skin is dehydrated, it loses its natural barrier. This can make the skin fragile and irritated, causing eczema. Dry skin also increases the risk of infections. Products and environmental factors can further dry out the skin, such as water, soap, warm or dry air, and cold weather.
Tips for eczema
Eczema cannot be prevented, but there are a number of things you can do yourself or avoid to reduce eczema.
- Try to keep the skin clean;
- Soothe the skin with a cooling gel;
- Provide good resistance;
- Try to resist the urge to scratch. Scratching can lead to wounds and infections that can aggravate the symptoms;
- Avoid substances that have an irritating effect as much as possible;
- Avoid long and hot showers. Preferably use lukewarm water;
- When drying, avoid rubbing, rather pat;
- Avoid perfumed care products;
- Avoid stress.