Why Treating Eczema May Make Your Symptoms Worse
For most of us, treating eczema means using hydrocortisone creams which may help for a little while, but don't really make the problem go away. Then, the next time that awful, terrible bout of itching comes around, we reach for the cream, but it doesn't help.
In fact, over time we may notice that we are itching more, and more often, and that the rashes are getting more painful. The itching feels so bad that we can't help but scratch. Then the protective layers of our skin get eroded faster. This causes more pain, more itching, and more rashes.
Then the eczema treatments get more intense...
* Prescription corticosteroid creams
* Corticosteroid medications
* Tar Treatments
* UV light therapy
For some people these eczema treatments may work, but for those with very sensitive skin, or who are very sensitive to medications, these can actually make the problem worse.
Why? The answer lies at the very root of the problem...
Causes of Eczema
One of the biggest challenges that doctors face in treating eczema is that they don't know what causes it. Research so far suggests that eczema is related to an overactive immune system which responds to unknown substances in the environment which trigger an allergic reaction.
Research also has suggested that eczema is found more often in families with a history of allergies or eczema.
People who suffer with eczema find that their painful bouts of itching are triggered by any number of different things.
* Cigarette Smoke
* Household chemicals
* Chemicals in soaps and laundry detergent
* Animal dander
* Very cold, hot or windy weather
* Contact with rough materials like wool
* More highly allergenic foods like eggs, milk, citrus fruits, nuts, or chocolate.
Eczema and the Immune SystemOne of the problems with the current methods of treating eczema is that many of these actually weaken the immune system, which may compound the problem over time.
* Antibiotics kill off the friendly flora in the intestines, which weakens our body's defenses.
* Corticosteroids reduce the body's resistance to infection, and also make it more difficult for the body to heal from infection.
* Antihistamines work for a while but over time your body develops a tolerance and eventually they don't work at all.
* UV light therapy carries the risk of sun damage and skin cancer.
* Tar treatments can increase your risk of skin cancer, and cause skin irritation and sun sensitivity.
One of the ways you may be able to help stop the painful cycle of eczema itching is by supplementing your eczema treatments with natural methods. Natural eczema treatments can help reduce irritations from the environment, and to strengthen your body's natural self healing mechanisms.
This can greatly reduce the symptoms, and may even help your other eczema treatments to work more effectively.
Some of the ways you can help your eczema to heal naturally include:
* Drinking more water.
* Reducing stress and getting more sleep.
* Lifestyle changes to increase the moisture levels of your skin and home environment.
* Reducing your exposure to chemical irritants.
* Switching to non-toxic hypoallergenic skin care products.
* Eliminating refined and processed foods from your diet.
* supplementing your diet with skin healing nutrients.
* Using natural eczema home remedies such as oatmeal and baking soda.
* Some people have found herbal treatments for eczema to be effective.
Sometimes when your eczema is really out of control, you may need a medication to help manage the symptoms initially. If you can also help strengthen your body's immune system by reducing irritants and supporting your body's immune system, this will greatly speed the healing process and help you to interrupt the painful cycle of eczema itching.
Frequently Asked Questions
Side effect of Eczema medication?
My 5 month old baby has eczema and I am using fluocinolone acetonide. and I just read side effect : linear grouth retardation. delayed weith gain.... Any advices of wether to stop using them go with the doctor prescription??
Is there any side effects if i rely on an eczema ointment throughout my life?
I need it all the time,i think its an ointment,since its kind of oily and that the oily stuff helps my eczema a lot,so if i use it for years since there is no cure for eczema,will it have any bad effect on my skin after a long time?
...does this topical medication get into your bloodstream since you're just applying on the skin?
I think i over use the ointment,since its instructions is to just apply once at night,but i used it every time when there's an itch,i can't help it,practically i can't live comfortably without the ointment.
Lol..its the only topical medication that have helped me,and its from a specialised doctor,not a pharmacy.
haha.i forgot to add that everytime i went to the doctor to ask for the medication,i forgot to ask for the side effects,i only see him once in a few years,so that's why,maybe..i don't even know what's the ointment called,since its just in a simple plain packaging.
up to 70% of what you put on your skin goes into the bloodstream, think about niccotine patches..don;t you read or hear about all the hamrful ways you're damaging your body from products? as for your ointment, check the ingredients. are they all natural? I doubt it. if it was then you wouldn't have to rely on it so much. thats that synthetic creams do; make you dependant on them, so you have to keep buying them ($$$$$) did you know coconut oil (taken internally, and rubbed onto your eczema parts) will help immensely. borage oil or evening primrose oil is also used to treat eczema, and you don't need to apply it all the time. look here for more information
why do people feel that medication is the only way to go?
i have read a few answers in the health section and it seems to me that people think the only way to cure something is by medication. such as hypertension, eczema. food allergy's, stress, sleeplessness,etc: (im excluding depression, cancer,etc: as these obviously need treatment from a professional)
But seriously, im not a hippy and i too go to the doctor if nothing else works, but does anyone take natural remedies? such as a better diet, natural suppliments such as herbal tablets: ginseng, vitamin c, garlic, ginger and lemon, or fresh herbs and fresh ginger and lemon and garlic? honey is a great antiseptic for cuts and abbrassions. and essential oils?meditation? Has anyone seen a natropath? or a chinese doctor? for some of these problems harsh medication that can have side effects can do more damage then good, addiction etc: Did you know that all medication is originally derived from natural therapies and natural products? sometimes medicatication is not the answer, whats your veiw?
i just want veiws i too go to the doctor so remember that before you have an angry or insulting answer
I think it is a great idea to try natural ways to heal yourself, change your way of eating and stop any bad habits before you run to the doctor(unless it is a serious problem or accident of course). But, you must be very careful because natural remedies can have serious side effects also and can interact with other meds you are taking and you can overdose on them as well. And make sure the person you are going to for these alternative treatments is legitimate and has a license and a degree! I decided to go to a homeopathic doctor after I found no relief from traditional medicine for my Crohn's disease and I ended up in the hospital very sick from his advice and techniques. I do believe that we live in a society though that thinks everything can be solved by taking a pill and that is just not the case. Sometimes it may just take a lot of good old fashioned cures and you will save a lot of money too!
How to get rid of eczema?
Omg, I absolutely hate eczema. They are the most embarrassing, depressing things ever. I started getting it when I was 6. 6!!!!!! And I STILL have it. Honestly, I'm sick and tired of not being able to wear "that cute summer dress my aunty got me" or "those nice pair of athletic shorts" I want to get rid of it asap. I definitely don't want to use steroids or any other kind of medication with major side effects. Please help me!
Use Elomet cream...
How to repair skin after having severe eczema?
I have had extreme eczema for years. I just got some new medication from my doctor and some new hand cream that seem to be working. (BTW, the handcream is GoldBond Ultimate handcream). The only problem is that my hands (where I have eczema) is red, scared, swollen, dry, and veryyyy wrinkled. How do I get rid of these side effects? Any other products that could work? Preferrably for sensitive skinn? Thxxx.
Consider it could be a fungus.You might try Miconazole anti fungal cream.Women use it for yeast fungal infections and it is strong working on fungus.That and gold bond will probably do it.B- vitamins work well to help clear up eczema.
Does anyone know of any alternative remedies for severe atopic eczema?
My friend has this condition mainly on the face and neck.
Her doctor wants her to take the immunosuppresant - Azathioprine but after doing some research and finding out what the possible side effects are such as liver failure, kidney failure, cancer etc she has refused this medication.
Her doctor has now told her that there is nothing else he can do for her.
She has been extreamly distraught today over her doctor's prognosis.
Can anyone suggest any other alternatives?
She has already tried Chinese herbal remedies and acupuncture.
If anyone else suffers from this condition, can you please tell me how you cope with it because she is at her wits end and says that she can't take anymore.
She avoids dairy products and only drinks soya milk.
sorry to hear about this. my eldest son also suffers like you say but his body is fully covered. (he is registered disabled because of this)
we have been on the cyclosporin immunesupressent since nov06 and recently came off it. he didnt react to it as he should of or as the docs said he would do.(we had to go for weekly check ups at hospital while on the immunesuppresent)
am afraid to say we have tried all kinds of alternative treatment but not have found any that helps as my lad suffers from alot of allergies we are limited what we can try.
everyone reacts differently to different treatments including cream etc... so what might work for one wont work for the other.
has she been tested for allergies?.....dairy allergy plays a big part in eczema it is very common and can make eczema worse, plus other allergies.
it is a difficult thing to live with as it impaires way off life.
there is no easy route with this or any quick fix treatment, sorry i havnt been much help but i hope she finds something that works soon.
we also have come to the end of the road as treatment is concerend because the immunesuppresent didnt work.
Effexor XR & Eczema - Why?
I am currently tapering off of Effexor XR. I was previously taking 300mg/day and, starting June, have been slowly tapering. I am now taking ~20mg/day.
Every time I reduce my Effexor dosage, my mouth becomes itchy, swollen, red, and dry. I saw a dermatologist who said it was eczema, which I've had in other places before. I'm currently treating the eczema with hydrocortisone ointment.
The dermatologist didn't really have an answer for what was causing the eczema, and couldn't tell me if it was the Effexor.
I doubt the eczema is caused by my toothpaste or makeup, b/c I use those daily...but I only have eczema for 1-5 days after I change my Effexor dosage.
The prescribing doctor...well, doctors...have been no help. Every doctor I've had while I've been on this has told me that "no one has side effects from this medication" and that I "shouldn't be experiencing any problems." The doctor who took me down from 300mg to 225 initially tried to take me all the way down to 150mg in one jump, but I found the "non-existent" side effects (brain zaps, nausea, irritability, agitation) inconsistent with my job. If it were up to him I'd have only taken two weeks to come off of this, and I don't doubt that would have been a disaster.
Googling Effexor, withdrawal, and eczema does create a few hits.
But no one seems to know why, or really understand why I want to know why.
So, if you have any idea, I'd be interested in hearing it. Speculation is fine with me. This is mostly an academic curiosity...although my mouth would like to know.
It could be be related to the antihistamine-type action of the drug - now that the dose is coming down that is lessening, and people do experience various forms of dermatological reactions during withdrawal, usually itching, but others are reported. It's interesting that it seems to be a self-limiting response after a dose drop... given Effexor's extremely short half-life, that does seem a pretty conclusive reaction.
Also check-out the less well-known anticholinergic properties of the drug... e.g. mouth dryness. Or the connection between Effexor and glossitis. Or the connection between Effexor and mucous membranes. Yes, these are side-effects, but it stands to reason that they could also be triggered by the reduction of the drug since it appears common for side-effects to also be withdrawal effects.
Eczema cure needed?
my cousin has really bad eczema, she has tried everythin the doctor gives and chemist brands but nothing seems to help... the steroid based medication helps a bit but she becomes dark skined and puts on weight (she i loosing her confidence due to this).... is there any medication known that works without these side effects???
I heartily recommend using herbal treatment like Zenmed Eczema and Dermatitis Solution