The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions which cause a wide variety of symptoms - redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing and bleeding. Temporary skin discoloration and scarring may also occur as a result of scratching.
There are a variety of treatments available which can be applied stand-alone or in combination with each other. These range from emollients for use in the bath or shower, medicinal moisturisers to relieve acute itchiness and weak topical steroids or immunosuppressants for stronger cases. These steroids are applied externally to the skin to reduce inflammation and itching without causing skin thinning, enabling the skin to heal more effectively.
Successful treatment typically results in full elimination of eczema symptoms and the associated discomfort and irritation.
© St. Joseph's Hospital 2019