Eczema Facts (cont.)

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What are eczema symptoms and signs?

Almost all patients with eczema complain of itching. Since the appearance of most types of eczema is similar, the distribution of the eruption can be of great help in distinguishing one type from another. For example, stasis dermatitis occurs most often on the lower leg while atopic dermatitis occurs in the front of the elbow and behind the knee.

How is eczema diagnosed?

An accurate diagnosis requires an examination of the entire skin surface and a careful history. It is important to rule out curable conditions caused by infectious organisms. Occasionally, a sample of skin (biopsy) may be sent for examination in a laboratory. If allergies are suspected, patch testing (not scratch or prick testing) may be required.

What is the treatment for eczema?

The treatment of acute eczema requires repeated cycles of application of dilute aqueous solutions followed by evaporation. This is most often conveniently performed by placing the affected body part in front of a fan after the compress. Once the acute weeping has diminished, then topical steroids (such as triamcinolone cream) application can be an effective treatment. In extensive disease, systemic steroids may need to be utilized either orally or by an injection (shot).

What are home remedies for eczema?

Mild eczema may respond to compresses composed of tepid water followed by room air evaporation. Chronic eczema can be improved by applying water followed by a stiff emollient like petroleum jelly.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/22/2013

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