Symptoms of eczema vary person-to-person, necessitating a different treatment approach in each case. Severe chronic eczema typically requires a mix of treatments to relieve the unbearable itching and irritation. In most cases, the most effective approach to treatment involves a combination of self-care strategies such as home remedies as well as over-the-counter or prescription-strength medicines.
Scientists are making continuous efforts to formulate new medications in an attempt to render controlling of eczema symptoms easier with so much progress already underway. With that in mind, here are some of the most effective treatment methods for severe chronic eczema.
Wrapping the affected parts of the skin with wet bandages upon applying an ointment is a highly effective way to ease chronic eczema symptoms. Application of wet dressings may require some expertise, so you can consult your doctor or a nurse about how to properly wrap your rashes in wet bandages using an ointment containing a corticosteroid.
Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors
Calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus are topical medicines that curb the immune system reaction that results in chronic eczema symptoms by lessening inflammation. These topical creams are prescription-strength and may cause some irritation and sensations of stinging or burning when you first begin to use them.
When chronic eczema affects large parts of the body, your doctor may see it fit to prescribe you oral medicines instead of topical therapies. Most of these drugs lessen the severity of eczema symptoms by hindering the immune system response. The most common oral medicines prescribed in cases of severe chronic eczema are cyclosporine and mycophenolate. Even though these are highly potent, effective medications, they are usually only used short-term as they may cause some serious side effects such as high blood pressure and an increased risk of infection.
Phototherapy is a form of ultraviolet light therapy that is reserved for patients whose condition won’t improve with standard medical treatments. Phototherapy entails the use of a machine that subjects ultraviolet light to the affected areas of the body. Some types of light therapy use Ultraviolet B while others use ultraviolet A. Regardless of the type of UV light, over 70% of eczema patients see a considerable improvement in their symptoms following a month of phototherapy.
In the second half of 2017, the FDA approved a biologic drug–made from living tissues–called Dupixent (dupilumab) for treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic eczema. This new drug directly targets the faulty immune system responsible for eczema symptoms in people with moderate-to-severe eczema symptoms who have not had any success with standard topical treatments. The medication is taken intravenously (via injections) every other week. If you have chronic eczema with severe, hard-to-control symptoms, consult with your doctor about whether you are a good candidate for Dupixent.
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