Advertisement

What can a doctor do for eczema?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

Doctors usually prescribe a topical, not an oral, medication. A prescription topical steroid or a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory - such as tacrolimus (Protopic) or pimecrolimus (Elidel) - reduce inflammation, relieve itching, and moisturize the skin. Steroids may be safer options for treating babies and children because they are time-tested. A patient with moderate to severe eczema must calm the rashy inflammation down and should not worry too much about using a topical steroid. Patients use it temporarily, twice daily for one to two weeks. With mild eczema - normal skin that may have an itchy, dry patch or two - a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory should work fine and would not have steroid side effects such as thinning or atrophied skin. (These effects happen only with long-term use of topical steroids.)

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

More About this Book

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A dermatologist can determine what type of eczema you have and how severe it is. He or she can also come up with a treatment plan based on your medical history. Treatment may include topical and oral medications. A combination of therapies is often used to treat eczema. Some lifestyle changes may be necessary.

Talk with your doctor about therapies that might help treat your eczema. 

Continue Learning about Eczema

Tips to Manage Your Child's Eczema
Tips to Manage Your Child's Eczema
Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema, and is fairly common among children. Watch pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, MD, explain her top ...
Read More
What's the best treatment for eczema?
RealAgeRealAge
Treating eczema starts with halting the itch-scratch cycle and usually includes a dry-skin care rout...
More Answers
6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter
6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter6 Ways to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups This Winter
Temperature changes can make eczema worse. Here's how to avoid breakouts.
Start Slideshow
Do You Have Eczema and Not Know It?
Do You Have Eczema and Not Know It?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.