How To Help Prevent Eczema Blisters From Popping Up
Eczema blisters can sometimes be unavoidable, but sticking to your eczema treatment plan can help keep them at bay. Take medication as prescribed and keep your skin properly moisturized. Scratching will only make the condition worse and invite infection, according to the Cleveland Clinic, so try to resist the temptation.
Additional reporting by Regina Boyle Wheeler.
Our Own Incredibly Successful Combo
My son developed food sensitivities that resulted in eczema and we were able to completely heal his patches in just two months by addressing both the internal and external.
We had incredible success with 1 drop of lavender oil mixed with 1 tsp of organic coconut oil applied after a bath. Wait for the oil to soak in a little , then apply the pharmaceutical-grade lanolin to seal moisture into the skin.
What Do I Need To Know About Oral Or Topical Antibiotics Used To Treat Eczema
- Topical antibiotics are used for small, localized bacterial infections oral antibiotics are used for more extensive or severe skin infections.
- Topical antibiotics are sometimes not recommended, as they can be associated with contact dermatitis and may contribute to antibiotic drug resistance.
- Mupirocin is a prescription topical antibiotic usually applied to the affected area three times per day for 1-2 weeks.
- Bleach baths may also be effective in treating and preventing infection.
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Corticosteroids For Treating Eczema Symptoms
You may have heard of cures for treating eczema naturally online, but the truth is that topical corticosteroids are the standard, go-to treatment for eczema flare-ups.
Applied directly to the affected areas of skin, these ointments, creams, or lotions may:
- Reduce inflammation
- Ease irritation or soreness
- Reduce itching and the desire to scratch
Topical corticosteroids should not be used as moisturizers and should only be applied to areas of the skin that are affected by eczema.
Over time, these drugs can thin the skin, cause changes in color, or result in stretch marks.
- Avascular necrosis
- Worsening diabetes
- Cushing syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Adrenal suppression
- Topical steroid addiction
If topical corticosteroids arent working, doctors may prescribe a systemic corticosteroid, taken by mouth or injected.
Other Topical Medication For Eczema
TCIs dont contain steroids. Instead, they control inflammation and reduce eczema flare-ups by suppressing the immune system.
Though TCIs dont cause the same side effects as topical corticosteroids, patients should only use them for short periods of time. A boxed warning alerts patients to the possible cancer risk associated with these drugs.
PDE4 inhibitors, another class of topical drugs for eczema, work by blocking an enzyme called phosphodiesterase 4 from producing too much inflammation in the body. There is currently only one PDE4 inhibitor on the market that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for atopic dermatitis: crisaborole .
The skin cream ruxolitinib , the first topical Janus kinase inhibitor for atopic dermatitis, is another approved treatment. The FDA has placed a boxed warning on this medication for potentially increasing the risk of all-cause mortality, as well as increasing the risk of developing dangerous infections, heart attack, stroke, and thrombosis and certain cancers, including lymphoma.
Wet-wrap therapy is another option for severe eczema. Sometimes given in a hospital, this treatment involves applying topical medicines and moisturizers to affected areas, then sealing them with a wrap of wet gauze.
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Treating Eczema A Stepped Approach
The recommended first-line treatments for most cases of eczema are emollients and topical steroids. Paste bandages and wet wraps may be a helpful addition for some people, particularly where scratching is a major problem. Sedating-type antihistamines may be useful in helping with sleeping at night . Long-term use is not recommended.
When there is an inadequate response to appropriate strengths of topical steroid, or if these are not tolerated, especially on areas of delicate skin, topical calcineurin inhibitors the cream pimecrolimus or the ointment tacrolimus may be useful.
Treatments for more severe eczema, or additional treatments, include phototherapy, oral steroids, immunosuppressant drugs, a biologic drug and a Janus kinase inhibitor.
Before progressing to additional treatments, it is essential to check that there is no other explanation for the eczema being uncontrolled. The following are examples of questions that should be considered by your doctor, but it is not an exhaustive list:
- Have all topical therapies been used to the highest dose possible that is safe? , please see our Topical steroids factsheet.)
- Have all irritants and allergens been identified and avoided to the extent practicable?
- Has infection been controlled?
- Is the eczema diagnosis correct?
Have a look at our factsheets to find out more about different eczema treatments.
What Triggers Eczema To Flare Up
Eczema affects each person diagnosed with the condition differently. What causes your symptoms to flare up might not trigger someone else with the condition. Common triggers that cause eczema include:
- Touching something youre allergic to.
Do certain foods trigger eczema?
The connection between eczema and food allergies is unclear. If you have food allergies, then one of the reasons why you must avoid that food is that it may cause or worsen your eczema symptoms. Examples of common allergies include:
Pay attention to what you eat. If your eczema flares up after you eat a certain food, then you might have an allergy to it. If you dont have a food allergy, then there are no foods that will cause or worsen your eczema.
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Optimize Your Gut Health To Treat Eczema And Reverse Gut Dysbiosis
The microbiome is a collection of trillions of microorganisms that inhabit your body. The health of the microbiome and the integrity of the gut lining has a major impact on immune system development, and whether a child develops allergies, eczema or asthma. When there is dysbiosis, a disrupted microbiome, or leaky gut and eczema or allergies, theres also likely to be symptoms of abdominal bloating and discomfort.
Supplements that reduce inflammation, nourish and heal the intestinal membranes and feed healthy flora can be incredibly beneficial in healing the gut. This may include the use of L-glutamine, turmeric, DGL, marshmallow root, zinc, quercetin, ginger and chamomile. To help promote healthy gut flora, we recommend a high quality probiotic, especially of the S. boulardii and Bifidobacterium species. Work with your provider to find the best probiotic and dosage for you or your child.
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Eczema Risk Factors On Darker Skin
The National Eczema Association reports that family history also plays a role in why some populations have more severe eczema. Eczema tends to run in families with a history of eczema, allergies, hay fever, asthma , and other allergic conditions.
You are also at a higher risk of getting eczema if you are diagnosed with allergies or asthma or if you have a family history of other inflammatory skin conditions.
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How I Healed My Eczema Naturally
Healing isnt linear and its quite the learning process. While reading this blog, remember that everyones body is different. What is best for your skin and health, might not be exactly the same as what was best for my own. This is just my personal story. Always talk to your healthcare provider before trying new self-care routines.
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Antihistamines And Pain Relievers
Atopic dermatitis , the most common form of eczema is part of whats known as the atopic triad . In fact, people with AD have a greater chance of developing comorbidities or related health conditions, namely asthma, hay fever and food allergies. To help combat itch and curb inflammation if you have allergies, a healthcare provider may suggest antihistamines. Some antihistamines also contain sedatives that can help people sleep.
Examples of OTC oral antihistamines include:
To address common eczema symptoms such as burning, pain and inflammation, a healthcare provider may also suggest OTC pain relievers such as:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen
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Finding Natural Treatments That Worked
At this point I was running on fumes and frantically researching alternative medicine and looking for holistic practitioners in hopes of finding something that could cure my son. The idea of healing from within was intriguing and there were so many success stories that gave me hope. Through endless research, conversation and lots of trial-and-error, I decided to treat the cause of Tristans eczema and not just the symptoms. I knew we had to heal his skin naturally. While researching where to start, I was hoping to find him some quick relief.
First I needed to control the insatiable itching. Toprevent him from scratching his skin raw, I purchased a pair of scratch mitten sleeves. These mittenswere absolutely life changing. My little Houdini couldnot remove them and they helped him get a peaceful nights sleep because the soft silk mittens ensured he wasnt hurting his skin. When I saw how well they worked for Tristan, I immediately bought three more pairs. We had four on rotation for this time of crisis. And he he wore them as a dry wrap to bed every single night during this time. We like ScratchSleeves Scratch Mittens for this purpose. And they make adorable pajamas too.
Eczema Coping Tips Good Hygiene
Skin affected by eczema is more vulnerable to a range of infections, including impetigo, cold sores and warts. The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus may cause a secondary infection of impetigo, and possibly contribute to the symptoms of eczema.Suggestions for washing include:
- Take lukewarm baths or showers, and avoid really hot showers.
- Dont use ordinary soap, as the ingredients may aggravate your eczema. Wash your body with warm water alone. For armpits and groin, use soap-free products, such as sorbolene cream.
- Bath oils can help to moisturise your skin while bathing.
- When towelling dry, pat rather than rub your skin.
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Prevent Skin Damage Caused By Scratching
Constant scratching can break the skin. To prevent bleeding and an infection, dermatologists recommend the following:
Keep your child’s nails short: Checking nails after your child’s bath lets you know when the nails need trimming.
Cover itchy skin: When skin is covered, children seem less likely to scratch. When dressing your child, be sure to:
Dress your child in lose-fitting clothes made from a soft, natural fiber-like cotton, a cotton blend, silk, or bamboo.
Consider using eczema mittens and eczema sleeves.
Eczema mittens can be effective when eczema flares on your baby’s face. Your baby may still scratch, but the scratching will cause less damage because the fingernails cannot dig into the skin.
Itch relief can be fickle
You may find that a technique works one day and not the next. If one technique fails, try another.
Related AAD resources
ReferencesEichenfield, LF, Tom WL, et al. Part 2: Guidelines of care for the management and treatment of atopic dermatitis with topical therapies. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Jul 71:116-32.
Sidbury R, Tom WL, et al. Part 4: Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis. Part 4: Prevention of disease flares and use of adjunctive therapies and approaches. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014: 71 1218-33.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
The most common type of eczema involves areas of red, dry, itchy skin, most commonly found in the creases of your elbows, behind your knees and on your wrists and ankles. These symptoms can affect both adults and children. Children with atopic eczema may have weeping, crusted dermatitis on the face and neck.
In discoid eczema, you have coin-shaped itchy patches on your arms, legs, chest or back.
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Do Moisturizers Help Eczema
Moisturizers are the first-line therapy in treating eczema. They help protect the outer layer of the skin by sealing in moisture, combating dryness, keeping out allergens, irritants and bacteria and preventing flare-ups. And they soothe the skin for long-lasting hydration.
Doctors recommend you apply a moisturizer at least twice per day, including once after a bath or shower. Develop a schedule so that moisturizing becomes part of your skincare routine.
If you experience symptoms on your hands, keep moisturizer by all sinks in the home or carry a small tube with you. This way you can easily moisturize every time you wash your hands throughout the day.
Getting Your Skin Back On Track After A Setback
At the end of the day, treatments and home remedies are not foolproof. They may not all work for your severe eczema or you may need more than one type of treatment at the same time, according to Chiesa Fuxench.
But when it comes to handling eczema setbacks, Wall says itâs about knowing what you can control and preparing as much as you can. âI would say I can’t control the weather. But I do know if I’m traveling, I’ll have what I call my âeczema emergency kit.ââ
For Wall, when she stays at a hotel or with friends or family, she makes it a point to pack âfragrance-freeâ products and even brings her own sheets to avoid a flare-up. But even though Wall stays away from most activities that may spark her eczema, sometimes she lets herself enjoy them despite knowing the consequences.
âIt’s a moment and it’s worth it, and you just have to go with it,â Wall says.
âYou really do need to clearly establish a basic skin care regimen. Typically, I say basic and simple because we don’t really want to overburden patients with treatments,â Chiesa Fuxench says.
Ultimately, if you live with lifelong eczema, Chiesa Fuxench notes that itâs important to buy into the idea that, as with other chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension, youâll have to stay on top of your treatments.
Ashley Wall, 33, Livingston, NJ, eczema advocate.
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: âPatient burden and quality of life in atopic dermatitis in US adults.â
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What Medications Are Used To Treat Eczema
While there are no medications that cure the condition, the good news is that there are many medications both over the counter and by prescription that can relieve symptoms.
Every individuals eczema is unique, with different triggers and different symptoms. As a result, treatments will vary from one person to another and even from one flare to another. What works for you one time may need to be changed in the future.
Its important to work with your physician on a personalized treatment plan. Then get to know your medications so you understand how to manage your symptoms most effectively. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about any possible side effects. Read labels carefully and follow dosing and safety instructions.
Eczema And Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment to apply to your rash. This will help reduce itching and calm inflammation. Use it right after bathing. Follow your doctors directions for using this medicine or check the label for proper use. Call your doctor if your skin does not get better with regular use of the medicine.
Antihistamines like hydroxyzine reduce itching. They can help make it easier to not scratch. A new class of drugs, called immunomodulators, works well if you have a severe rash. Two drugs in this class are tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. These drugs keep your immune system from overreacting when stimulated by an allergen. However, they can affect your immune system. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that these drugs be used only when other treatments dont work.
Try not to scratch the irritated area on your skin, even if it itches. Scratching can break the skin. Bacteria can enter these breaks and cause infection. Moisturizing your skin will help prevent itchiness.
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Things To Consider With Otc Products
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration decides whether a medicine is safe enough to sell over the counter. However, using OTC medicines still has potential risks. Some interact with other prescription or OTC medicines, supplements, foods or beverages. Others cause problems for people with certain medical conditions. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any OTC medicines for eczema.
Its important to correctly follow directions for OTC medicines and be careful when administering them to children. You should never take OTC eczema drugs for longer durations or in higher doses than the product label recommends.
Oral And Injected Medications
If symptoms of eczema and dermatitis are not relieved by topical medications, doctors may recommend stronger medications that are taken by mouth or injected into the skin.
In many instances, oral medications are prescribed for a short period to help get symptoms under control, and treatment then, ideally, shifts to management using topical medications and at-home therapies. But for severe eczema or dermatitis that is unresponsive to other treatment and causes persistent symptoms that interfere with your everyday life, some medications may be prescribed for months or years.
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When To See A Doctor
Although there is no cure for eczema, seeking treatment can help people find relief and learn how to manage their symptoms more effectively.
It is advisable to see a doctor for evaluation if the following symptoms develop in children or adults:
- itchy and painful skin
- pus-filled bumps on the skin
- skin infections