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What is the treatment for eczema?

There is no cure for eczema. The main goal of treatment is to remove any irritants and to decrease the amount of dryness and irritation of the skin.
Some specific treatments include:

  • Daily baths using less soap than usual. After bathing, it is important to trap the moisture in the skin by applying a lubricating moisturizer while it is damp.
  • Topical steroid creams to help decrease inflammation in the skin and thus reduce itching and swelling.
  • Topical immunomodulators, which are steroid-sparing topical medicines, may be prescribed in some cases. These include tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel).
  • Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or hydroxyzine (Atarax) to help decrease the amount of itching. These medications may cause drowsiness.
  • Topical and/or oral antibiotics for skin that has become infected from frequent scratching. It is important to keep fingernails short.

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