Eczema is a common inflammatory skin condition. It can affect all parts of the body and results in dry and irritated patches of skin.
- Causes dry and itchy skin
- Can lead to further health complications
- Symptoms can be managed with topical treatments
If you are experiencing eczema symptoms and want to know more about the available treatment options, speak to your doctor.
0 treatment(s) for Eczema
Eczema, also referred to as dermatitis, is an inflammatory skin condition which causes dry, red and itchy patches. It occurs when the body’s dermal layer does not produce enough fats and oil in order to retain sufficient moisture. This leads to the skin drying out and becoming easily irritated. Flare ups appear when patients come into contact with a trigger or allergen.
Eczema is extremely common in schoolchildren with around 20 percent being diagnosed before they turn five years old. An estimated 5 percent of the UK adult population also live with the illness. It is not contagious but it is thought that genetics play a part in contracting the condition.
People with eczema have very dry skin due to a lack of moisture being held in its oily layer, known as the dermis. This defect leaves the skin prone to attack from certain factors known as triggers or allergens. The most common triggers include: climate; pollution; pollen, diet and infections. To reduce flare ups patient should try and avoid their triggers where possible. Milder cases can sometimes be controlled with emollients, a type of moisturising treatment that creates a protective layer on the skin. It is also suggested that those with eczema keep their fingernails short and wear thin layers of clothing to prevent scratching.
When eczema symptoms become too severe to manage at home; patients may need to commence a course of treatment. A widely prescribed type of medication is a topical corticosteroid (Locoid). For cases where infection is present, or potentially present, a topical treatment with antibacterial properties may be prescribed (Terra Cortril).
A thin layer of cream or ointment is applied to the skin usually between two and four times a day for up to one week. The medication is absorbed directly into the skin where the active ingredients can work to reduce inflammation and/or kill off infection.
We do not provide medication for eczema through our pharmacy. To find out more about the solutions available for eczema, we recommend you speak to your GP.
Types of Treatment
There is no cure for eczema, although some cases can improve over time or even resolve completely. People living with the condition go through periods of dormancy, where the symptoms are less noticeable and more manageable. However, they will also experience flare up periods, where the symptoms are exacerbated and more difficult to deal with. Allergens and triggers can worsen symptoms so where possible it is best to avoid them. The most common triggers are pollen, climate, detergents and food.
The main aims of eczema treatment is to reduce inflammation and kill off any infection. Medications are available as topical creams and ointments such as: Terra Cortril; and Locoid. They both contain an active ingredient known as a corticosteroid. However, Terra Cortril contains an antibiotic too.
How do they work?
These eczema treatments are absorbed directly into the skin. They prevent the body from releasing the chemicals that widen the skin’s blood cells and cause inflammation. These chemicals are released by the immune system when an allergen is detected. They cause dry and red skin patches which can be very itchy. By stopping the inflammation the medications reduce symptoms and the risk of infection from scratching.
Terra Cortril also kills off and prevents infections by stopping bacteria from reproducing.
What are the side effects?
These topical treatments can lead to side effects, although not every user will experience them. The most common symptoms include: an itching or burning sensation at the site of application; discolouration of the skin; or thinning of the skin.
More information can be found on each respective product page for each medication.
Can I take them with other medications?
This depends on the other medications you are using. Let your doctor know about any other treatments you are using during consultation.
Q&A: our eczema forum:
What’s the difference between the medications?
The products come either as an ointment or cream. Locoid contains one active ingredient which is a corticosteroid; whereas Terra Cortril also contains an antibacterial agent. This helps to prevent and limit the development of a bacterial infection in the affected region.
Should I take Terra Cortril, Locoid or Trimovate?
This can depend on the severity of your eczema and whether or not you are fighting an infection. Your medical profile will need to be reviewed by a qualified physician who will be able to come to the best decision for you.
Are there different side effects?
Yes but not everyone will experience them. However, the main reaction is a stinging or burning sensation on the skin. More detailed information about each respective treatment can be found in their patient guide.
Is it right for me?
Speak to your doctor if you are experiencing eczema symptoms and want to find out more about treatment options. If necessary, they will be able to initiate the most appropriate eczema medication.
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