There are varying types and strengths of topical corticosteroids, the appropriate selection will be made based on the severity of symptoms and where on the body they are located. Weaker corticosteroids are usually recommended for cases of mild eczema , or for the more sensitive areas of the body. A stronger corticosteroid will likely be recommended for use on the palms of the hands, knuckles or the soles of the feet and areas where the skin is thicker . If presenting with severe eczema or dermatitis, a strong corticosteroid may be prescribed for short-term use only . Examples of topical corticosteroids include:
In those children with allergy causing the eczema, they will usually get rashes or more extensive eczema soon after eating a particular food or drinking milk (in the case of babies). If you notice this, remove that food from your child's diet ( if you have a baby, this will need to be done under supervision with an appropriate other formula ). If there is a marked improvement on removal of the suspected food, then the food may have been the cause - cautious reintroduction of the food after 3-4 weeks will enable you to be sure. If on reintroduction of the food, the skin remains clear, the food can continue in the diet. If the skin flares up again, that food needs to be removed from the diet. In those toddlers who do have an allergy to a food causing eczema, a trial of reintroduction can be made in 6 - 12 months time as many children will grow out of these allergies.
Lots of unsubstantiated alternative eczema therapies are promoted in the press. Be wary of these claims. Miraculous natural cures for eczema often contain crushed cortisone tablets. Evening Primrose oil (or gamolenic acid), flaxseed & omega 3 oils offer no real additional benefit to eczema. Chinese herbal tea extracts have been evaluated but taste unpleasant and may even cause liver toxicity. Recalcitrant eczema on the face may respond to non-steroidal immune-modulator preparations such as Tacrolimus (Protopic) and Pimecrolimus (Elidel) however skin redness may be a temporary side effect. Ultra-violet light therapy treatment has been helpful so get out into the sunshine! There is growing proof that lactobacillus GG probiotics (Reuterina) supplemented in pregnancy, breastfeeding and early in life may reduce eczema in babies by altering their gut immune reactivity.