Eczema – Skin Care
The treatment of Eczema begins with prevention of skin dryness with good atopic skin care so flare ups do not occur and this is what I stress with my atopic patients in both my The Woodlands and Conroe dermatology offices. As the skin in Eczema dries out readily, it is very important to use the correct soap when showering or bathing. Some soaps such as Dial, Irish Spring, and Ivory clean the skin very well because they are so high in detergent but they also remove most of the skin’s moisture. The best soaps are those with low levels of detergent such as Dove body wash and Cetaphil cleanser. After showering/bathing, is the best time to apply a moisturizer to trap the residual water into the skin. Baby oil is very good for the skin immediately after a shower. At least twice a day, patients with Eczema should use a good moisturizing cream such as Eucerin or Lubriderm or an ointment such as Aquaphor or Vaseline. In areas with eczematous plaques, a topical steroid should be applied prior to the application of a moisturizer. Once the eczematous plaque has resolved, the topical steroid should be discontinued. Topical immunomodulators such as Protopic and Elidel can be used in place of a topical steroid in some patients. Occasionally, eczematous areas can become infected and it is very important to treat this infection as it can worsen the Eczema and make it treatment resistant. Patients are advised to keep their nails trimmed short as the eczematous areas will inevitably be scratched and this will limit the trauma to the skin.