What Do Atopic Dermatitis And Other Eczema Types Look Like
Topical steroids come in various forms ointments, creams, lotions, sprays, gels, and oils. They also come in various strengths, which range from class 1 to class 7 .
Importantly, a higher steroid concentration does not necessarily mean higher potency, and the vehicles in which the drugs are prepared can also significantly impact strength. You cant tell just by the name of the steroid how potent it is.
Class 1 medications include:
- 0.05 percent clobetasol propionate Clobex , Olux E , and Temovate E
- 0.05 percent halobetasol propionate Ultravate
- 0.1 percent fluocinonide Vanos
Class 2 medications include:
- 0.05 percent diflorasone diacetate ApexiCon E
- 0.05 percent halobetasol propionate Elocon
- 0.01 percent fluocinonide Halog
- 0.25 percent desoximetasone Topicort
Class 3 medications include:
- 0.05 percent fluocinonide Lidex-E
- 0.05 percent desoximetasone Topicort LP
Class 4 medications include:
- 0.1 percent mometasone furoate Elocon
- 0.1 percent triamcinolone acetonide Aristocort A and Kenalog
- 0.1 percent betamethasone valerate Valisone
- 0.05 percent desoximetasone Topicort
Class 5 medications include:
- 0.05 percent fluticasone propionate Cutivate
- 0.1 percent prednicarvate Dermatop
- 0.1 percent hydrocortisone butyrate Locoid
- 0.1 percent hydrocortisone probutate Pandel
- 0.1 percent triamcinolone acetonide Kenalog
- 0.025 percent fluocinolone acetonide Synalar
Class 6 medications include:
Class 7 medications include:
Side Effects Of Topical Corticosteroids
Steroids, even those that are administered topically, can cause adverse side effects if they are not taken according to package instructions or if they are taken over long periods of time. The most common side effect is skin atrophy or skin thinning, which can be permanent. The steroid can also be absorbed into the bloodstream and have systemic side effects, such as raising blood sugar.
How To Use Them
It is important to follow a healthcare professionals instructions carefully. Usually, they recommend using a topical steroid to ease symptoms of an eczema flare-up and reducing or stopping the treatment once the symptoms are under control.
The right amount of medication depends on the affected area. The doctor might give instructions in FTUs. This refers to the amount of the medication that could fit on the tip of an adult index finger. The National Eczema Association provides guidance about FTUs and areas affected by eczema.
While there is currently no cure for eczema, a wide range of treatments can manage the symptoms. Beyond avoiding possible triggers and maintaining good skin health, a person might try:
- Bathing, moisturizing, and wet wraps: Very dry skin is a common symptom of eczema, and moisturizing may help heal any damage from dryness and prevent flare-ups. It can also improve how well the skin absorbs medications.
- Over-the-counter medicines: Some examples include lower-potency steroid creams, antihistamines, and pain relief medications.
- Prescription medicines: These include stronger topical steroids and calcineurin inhibitors, injectable drugs called biologics, and oral drugs, such as immunosuppressants and steroids.
- Alternative and complementary treatments: Relaxation techniques, mindfulness training, and acupressure may provide a whole-body approach to the treatment.
- This involves using different wavelengths of UV light to reduce inflammation and itchiness.
Don’t Miss: What Can I Put On My Dogs Eczema
How Is Eczema Diagnosed
It isnt easy to diagnose eczema, but with a dermatologists help, you or your child will receive the right treatment.
To diagnose eczema, your doctor or the dermatologist takes a look at the skin then talks with you about your health history and your symptoms. In most cases, the doctors want to know if allergies and rashes run in your family. This is the diagnosis for atopic dermatitis eczema.
If you suspect that food allergy is responsible for your childs rash, let the doctor know, they will help you identify the potential food allergies. Eczema in children almost always comes from food.
1 Diagnosis of Allergic Eczema
After examining your skin and getting information about your medical history, the doctor will carry out tests if they suspect a case of allergic eczema. The most common test is the patch test, also called the epicutaneous test.
For this test, patches containing common allergens are put on your back, and they remain in place for 48 hours. The patches are then removed, and your doctor looks for any symptom of an allergic reaction. Your doctor will also ask you to check your skin after another 48 hours in case you have a delayed allergic reaction.
How To Find The Best Eczema Cream
When considering over-the-counter creams, Dr. Hayag suggests keeping an eye out for occlusives, humectants, and emollients. “Occlusive ingredients to look out for are petrolatum and silicone derivatives such as dimethicone,” says Dr. Hayag. “Humectants are hygroscopic moisturizers that actively pull and absorb water and hydrate the outer layer of the skin,” she adds. You’re likely to find humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, in many of the skin-care products already in your arsenal. Shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, and ceramides are all emollients that are great for moisturizing the skin, as well.
Those with eczema should lean into moisturizers that have high oil content over water content, as this will actually draw more water into the skin and reduce water loss. An ointment is actually a far better option over a lotion, notes Dr. Hayag. Why? Ointments have the highest oil content of all the products, so they don’t generally burn when they’re applied to sensitive skin and are very good at sealing in moisture, she explains.
If you’re looking specifically to relieve flare-ups, Dr. Hayag recommends creams featuring ingredients such as pramoxine hydrochloride, niacinamide, and hydrocortisone, which work quickly to soothe itchiness and irritation.
Recommended Reading: What Is Eczema And Psoriasis
Key Points About Atopic Dermatitis In Children
Atopic dermatitis is a long-term skin condition. Its common in babies and children.
A child with allergies or family members with atopic dermatitis has a higher chance of having atopic dermatitis.
Itching, dryness, and redness are common symptoms.
The goals of treatment are to ease itching and inflammation of the skin, increase moisture, and prevent infection.
Staying away from triggers is important to manage the condition.
It usually gets better or goes away as a child gets older.
Consume The Right Vitamins
The following vitamins and minerals are particularly beneficial for eczema. Try to get them by eating a nutritious diet.
- Zinc: Seafood, lean red meat, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds
- Vitamin C: Brightly colored fruits and vegetables and rosehip
- Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, pine nuts, almonds, dried apricots, avocado
- Vitamin D: Best absorbed from sunlight in the summer months , and a D supplement in the winter months.
- Flavonoids: Emerging research suggests that flavonoids can help to rebalance the immune system, therefore, being helpful for those with eczema.
Read Also: Prescription Hand Cream For Eczema
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.
Using Hydrocortisone With Other Skin Creams
Do not apply hydrocortisone at the same time as other creams or ointments such as a moisturiser. Wait at least 10 minutes between using hydrocortisone and any other product. Try to use different skin products at different times of the day.
If you’re using a dressing like a bandage or plaster, wait at least 10 minutes after putting hydrocortisone on.
You May Like: Coconut Oil For Scalp Eczema
What Are The Most Commonly Used Steroid Creams For Eczema
There are many different types of steroid creams that can be used to treat your eczema. Before using any on your eczema even over-the-counter creams talk with your doctor about which ones might be best for your situation. Not everyone will respond or react to steroid creams in the same way.
Different steroid creams used to treat eczema may include:
Some People Use Too Little
A common mistake is to be too cautious about topical steroids. Some parents undertreat their children’s eczema because of an unfounded fear of topical steroids. They may not apply the steroid as often as prescribed, or at the strength needed to clear the flare-up. This may actually lead to using more steroid in the long term, as the inflamed skin may never completely clear. So, you may end up applying a topical steroid on and off for quite some time. The child may be distressed or uncomfortable for this period if the inflammation does not clear properly. A flare-up is more likely to clear fully if topical steroids are used correctly.
Read Also: Eczema On The Palm Of Your Hand
What Kinds Of Moisturizers Are Most Effective For My Eczema
Not all moisturizers are created equal. In fact, there are many types of common moisturizers that arent good at helping control your eczema and may even make it flare or get worse. Its important to understand the differences between the three basic types of moisturizers ointments, creams, and lotions so that you can properly hydrate your skin and help keep your symptoms under control.
Moisturizers are classified based on the amount of oil and water they contain. The more oil in a moisturizer, the better it usually is at treating eczema. The best moisturizers to use are the ones that feel greasy , because they contain more oil. These are very effective at keeping moisture in and irritants out.
All moisturizers should also be applied to your hands immediately after washing and gently blotting them dry. For this reason, its a good idea to keep moisturizer near every sink in your home and carry a small tube with you at all times, so that you can reapply it throughout the day.
Best Natural: Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Cream
Contains manuka honey for soothing properties
Ingredients not as well studied
We have some bad news for those searching for an all natural eczema product: People are obsessed with natural, but natural doesnt mean better and less likely to react, Dr. Saedi reveals. I always recommend ingredients that are studied and we know work. This is why the National Eczema Association doesnt endorse any natural products. However, if being all-natural is a must for you, we suggest Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Cream, which relies on the key ingredients of aloe vera and manuka honey to soothe and hydrate dry skin. According to a study published in November 2018 in AIMS Microbiology, manuka honey is the front runner of honeys for non-peroxide antimicrobial activity, while a number of other studies have found that it is effective in treating eczema.
Active Ingredients: Aloe vera, manuka honey | Uses: Soothes and hydrates dry skin
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Otc For Eczema
You May Like: Is Rubbing Alcohol Good For Eczema
Topical Steroids For Eczema
In this series
Topical steroids are medicated creams that are put on the skin. They are used in addition to moisturisers for treating eczema. Topical steroids reduce skin inflammation. A short course will usually clear a flare-up of eczema. Side-effects are unlikely to occur with short courses.
In this article
Are There Any Side
Short courses of topical steroids are usually safe and cause no problems. Problems may develop if topical steroids are used for long periods, or if short courses of stronger steroids are repeated often. The main concern is if strong steroids are used on a long-term basis. Side-effects from mild topical steroids are uncommon.
Side-effects from topical steroids can either be local or systemic. Local means just affecting that bit of skin and systemic means affecting the whole person.
Recommended Reading: Things To Do For Eczema
Cautions With Other Medicines
Other medicines are very unlikely to affect the way beclometasone creams work.
However, tell a pharmacist or doctor if you’re taking:
- medicines used to treat HIV, such as ritonavir or cobicistat
- medicines used to treat fungal infections, such as ketoconazole or itraconazole
- other medicines that contain steroids, such as eczema creams, asthma inhalers, tablets, injections, nasal sprays, and eye or nose drops
What Are The Different Types Of Eczema
There are different types of dermatitis, including atopic eczema, allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, and asteatotic eczema. When most people talk about eczema they usually are referring to atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema. Atopic dermatitis is common and tends to run in families along with asthma, hay fever, sinus trouble, and dry skin.
Recommended Reading: Best Way To Get Rid Of Baby Eczema
Read Also: Bar Soap Good For Eczema
How Can Parents Help
Help prevent or treat eczema by keeping your childs skin from getting dry or itchy and avoiding triggers that cause flare-ups. Try these suggestions:
- Kids should take short baths or showers in warm water. Use mild unscented soaps or non-soap cleansers and pat the skin dry before putting on cream or ointment. Teens should use unscented makeup and oil-free facial moisturizers.
- Ask your doctor if its OK to use oatmeal soaking products in the bath to help control itching.
- Kids should wear soft clothes that breathe, such as those made from cotton. Wool or polyester may be too harsh or irritating.
- Keep your childs fingernails short to prevent skin damage from scratching. Try having your child wear comfortable, light gloves to bed if scratching at night is a problem.
- Kids should avoid becoming overheated, which can lead to flare-ups.
- Kids should drink plenty of water, which adds moisture to the skin.
- Get rid of known allergens in your household and help your child avoid others, like pollen, mold, and tobacco smoke.
- Stress can make eczema worse. Help your child find ways to deal with stress .
Before Taking This Medicine
You should not use mometasone topical if you are allergic to mometasone.
Do not use mometasone topical to treat diaper rash.
Do not use this medicine on any child without a doctor’s advice. Children can absorb larger amounts of this medication through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects. Mometasone topical may not be safe to use on a child for longer than 3 weeks.
Mometasone topical is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old.
Tell your doctor if you have any type of skin infection.
Also tell your doctor if you have diabetes. Topical steroid medicines absorbed through the skin may increase the glucose levels in your blood or urine.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk. If you apply mometasone topical to your chest, avoid areas that may come into contact with the baby’s mouth.
Also Check: How To Treat Infant Eczema Naturally
Try To Reduce The Damage From Scratching
Eczema is often itchy, and it can be very tempting to scratch the affected areas of skin.
But scratching usually damages the skin, which can itself cause more eczema to occur.
The skin eventually thickens into leathery areas as a result of chronic scratching.
Deep scratching also causes bleeding and increases the risk of your skin becoming infected or scarred.
Try to reduce scratching whenever possible. You could try gently rubbing your skin with your fingers instead.
If your baby has atopic eczema, anti-scratch mittens may stop them scratching their skin.
Keep your nails short and clean to minimise damage to the skin from unintentional scratching.
Keep your skin covered with light clothing to reduce damage from habitual scratching.
Controlling Eczema By Moisturizing
Keeping your skins moisture intact is one of the most important things you can do to help control your eczema.
Moisturizers helps protect the outermost layer of skin known as the stratum corneum or skin barrier. People living with eczema have a damaged skin barrier, which makes their skin more sensitive to irritants, allergens, bacteria and other invaders. A damaged skin barrier also make it harder for the skin to retain water, leading to chronic dry, itchy skin, which can cause eczema to flare or get worse.
Wind, low humidity, cold temperatures, harsh soaps and prolonged exposure to water, all lead to dry skin. So, its important to understand how and when to properly moisturize and which products are best to use when you have eczema.
Some things to remember when moisturizing:
Read Also: Can Stress Make Eczema Flare Up
Best Prescription Eczema Creams
Dr. Hayag often prescribes topical steroid creams to her clients due to their effectiveness in rapidly treating redness, inflammation, and itchiness. Specifically, she likes calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus for reducing the immune response that causes these irritations. These are great non-steroidal creams that help maintain control of eczema and decrease the number of eczema flare-ups, she adds.
She also recommends crisaborale as a non-steroidal cream that can be used in children as young as 2-years-old, and mupiricin ointment, which is a topical prescription antibiotic for staph infections commonly found in eczema patients.