What can be the cause of skin problems
Creams, ointments, soaps and proper skin care
An important ingredient that is helpful in treating many types of eczema is cortisone. The substance is often found in nourishing ointments, creams, or lotions that the doctor prescribes. Cortisone inhibits inflammation in eczema, suppresses the allergic reaction and relieves itching. To avoid side effects, patients should not use cortisone-containing preparations over a long period of time, over a large area or under a bandage.
In addition, patients can regularly apply individually tailored, nourishing ointments, creams or lotions to the skin. They supply the skin with fat and water, make it smoother and strengthen the barrier function. This makes it harder for germs to penetrate the skin.
Depending on the type of eczema, the care products are composed differently: In the case of an acute, weeping rash, they should contain a lot of water. With eczema that has existed for a long time, the skin is often dry and flaky. Here you should use products that are high in fat. Even after the eczema has healed, it makes sense to continue to care for the skin. To do this, you can apply moisturizing creams or lotions.
For washing, you should use mild soaps that do not degrease the skin. For chronic eczema, some doctors recommend avoiding soaps and detergents and instead take oily baths. Even if the rash is very itchy: It is important not to scratch if possible! This damages the skin and makes the symptoms worse.
Home and herbal remedies can help relieve symptoms of eczema. You can also use these in addition to therapy with ointments or other drugs prescribed by the doctor. However, if you have a rash, it is always a good idea to speak to a doctor. Because he can recommend the treatment that is most effective against eczema.
Home remedies that doctors often recommend for eczema include menthol and camphor. They can help relieve symptoms such as itching, but they won't make the eczema heal. Other herbal remedies that are especially recommended in alternative medicine are ointments with cardiospermum from the flowers of the balloon vine or with the natural substance ectoin. They can be used in symptom-free phases to prevent eczema so that you do not have to resort to ointments containing cortisone.
Various herbal extracts can help moisturize and soften the skin, as well as relieve itching and pain. They can be applied in the form of nourishing creams, lotions or oils. These include, for example, evening primrose oil, borage, aloe vera, marigolds and chamomile.
Sometimes topical treatment is not enough to sufficiently improve the symptoms of eczema. Then it may be necessary to take cortisone in the form of tablets. If the itching is severe, the doctor can also prescribe antihistamines. These are active ingredients that relieve itching. Because certain antihistamines make you tired, you should take them in the evening before you go to sleep.
If the eczema is extensive and severe, it may be necessary to give cortisone in the form of an infusion for a short time so that the symptoms subside quickly. Treatment can then be continued with tablets.
Light therapy and brine baths
UV light therapy can help relieve the symptoms of chronic eczema. It can take place at the same time as the external treatment with ointments or creams. Sometimes it is also combined with brine baths. But be careful: If the eczema is caused by an allergy to sunlight, light therapy must not be carried out.
Patient education and psychological support
It is also important that patients have precise knowledge of their disease, its causes and the various treatment options. For example, if the rash is caused by an allergic reaction, your doctor will tell you where the substances you are allergic to are found in the environment and how to avoid them.
Particularly in the case of chronic eczema - such as atopic eczema - patient education is important. In doing so, those affected learn how to contain the symptoms themselves and how to remain symptom-free for as long as possible. Studies have shown that patient education can significantly improve the quality of life with eczema.
Psychological support can also help alleviate eczema. In this way, you can learn psychological strategies that will help break the vicious cycle of itching and scratching. Often people with chronic eczema also feel psychologically stressed - and this often makes the symptoms worse. Psychological support can help them deal better with psychological stress.
Treatment of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection
Sometimes the skin is severely damaged by the eczema and its protective function against pathogens is disturbed. This can lead to additional inflammation caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. It is important to treat such an infection appropriately! The doctor will decide which treatment is appropriate in this case.
For milder inflammations, you can apply creams or ointments that kill or contain the germs. In the case of severe, widespread inflammation, it may be necessary to take suitable medication, for example antibiotics or antiviral drugs (antivirals). In severe cases, in which the inflammation spreads to the whole body, the active ingredients are given in the form of infusions.
Skin diseases are among the most common occupational diseases in Germany - a large part of them are eczema. Substances that someone deals with at work often trigger an allergic reaction or skin irritation and lead to eczema.
This is how allergic skin eczema occurs, for example, in craftsmen when handling building materials or in hairdressers through hair dyes and other chemicals. But constant contact with water, soaps or alkalis can also cause skin irritation and thus eczema.
If you or your doctor suspect that the eczema is caused by substances that you deal with professionally, the responsible trade association should be consulted. This must assess whether the eczema is recognized as an occupational disease. If it is not possible to avoid the eczema triggers, retraining or a change of profession may be necessary.
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