WHAT IS ECZEMA?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition which affects epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. Dermatitis is a term which is used to describe skin inflammations in the context of eczema.
Eczema can be classified as acute, chronic or both. Acute eczema (or dermatitis) refers to rapid redness, itching, and oozing of affected skin. The rash can also be swollen and/or blistered. Chronic eczema (or dermatitis) refers to a prolonged lasting of the rash which is darker compared to healthy skin, thickened (it is also called the “lichenification”), and more itching. 1 in every 5 patients is affected by dermatitis at least once in their lifetime. The roots of causes are quite complex and usually depend on various factors. Dermatitis can also progress in different patterns. For example, psychological stress can trigger condition outburst. In children, atopic dermatitis can be caused due to a family history of dermatitis or asthma. Irritant contact dermatitis is caused due to the handling of certain chemicals, detergents, and/or solvents. The allergic contact dermatitis is caused due to contact with some substances that most people do not react to: hair dye, preservatives, perfume, and rubber. Since dermatitis is a complex inflammatory condition, different methods of treatments have been identified.
Topical steroids, pimecrolimus/tacrolimus cream (anti-inflammatory cream), new topical preparation of PDE4 inhibitor Crisaborole.
The phototherapy is another option to control the Eczema.
The antihistamines are sometimes used to reduce the itch, and/or antibiotics in case of secondary infection.
Systemic medications can be used, if topical treatments and phototherapy cannot control the skin condition.
In medical dermatology, pills and/or injections are considered as types of systemic medications. Antibiotics, mycophenolate mofetil, oral or injectional corticosteroids, azathioprine, small molecules immunosuppressants like methotrexate, ciclosporin, and many more are examples of systemic medications that can be prescribed by a dermatologist to manage severe eczema. Also, there is new biologic medication on the market Dupilumab that is approved for the treatment of severe eczema.