Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is defined by the Mayo Clinic as reddened, itchy, dry or weeping patches of skin usually seen on the hands, feet, ankle, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, and inside the elbows and knees. It is caused by environmental irritants. The immune system attacks environmental irritants on the skin and in doing so attacks the skin as well. Patients with eczema frequently suffer hay fever and asthma as well.

Treatment Options

  • Moisturizers
  • Bleach bath–half a cup of bleach in 40 gallons of water for 10 minutes twice a week.
  • Mild soap
  • Cortisone creams or ointments–several are available, either over the counter or prescription strength.
  • Protopic (tacrolimus) cream–an immunosuppressant that can be used for 6 weeks
  • Elidel (pimecrolimus) cream–an immunosuppressant applied twice a day for up to 6 weeks
  • Azathioprine is an immunosuppressant developed for transplant patients to keep their immune systems from rejecting donated organs. Dermatologists also use it for treating atopic dermatitis. It is taken orally at a dose of 100 to 250 mg per day.
  • Cyclosporine was first developed to prevent transplant patients’ immune systems from rejecting transplants. It is given along with topical medications for one year or less.
  • Methotrexate was developed as an anticancer drug and found useful for treating psoriasis. It can be effective for atopic dermatitis as well.

Did you know? QuickMD can treat eczema from the convenience of your home, and provide you with a prescription for steroid creams online–or any other treatments that may be required.