What is eczema? How to relieve eczema?

Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions among the world’s population. Learn more in this article about eczema. We will try to answer questions you have about this skin pathology. What is eczema? How to relieve eczema?

What is eczema / dermatitis and what are the symptoms of eczema / dermatitis ?

Eczema is a skin disorder characterized by a local inflammatory response. Generally, eczema is associated with allergic responses. Different forms and causes for eczema exist: it can range from a simple and short-term local irritation to frequent and painful skin eruptions which are sometimes incapacitating. Among the different types of eczema, there are atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema (pompholyx), acute vesiculobullous hand eczema…

The symptoms of eczema can be

  • thick red patches
  • thin vesicles
  • scales
  • itching (pruritus)
  • dry skin
  • cracks

This disease generally evolves by flare-ups, interrupted by phases of inactivity.

How to relieve eczema / dermatitis?

Nowadays, there is no existing treatment to cure eczema. However,  treatments are available to relieve its symptoms.

There are different kind of treatments which can be

  • local (antiseptic, topical corticosteroids, silver nitrate, hydrating products)
  • systemic (antihistamines, corticosteroids, ciclosporin and possibly antibiotics in case of secondary infections; retinoids and immunosuppressive drugs can also be prescribed for chronic hand eczema).

Nevertheless, in the long term, medicinal treatments tend to have side effects which limit their use. Thus, other approaches can be considered such as water cures or PUVA or PUVB phototherapies.