Many of us thought that eczema is exclusive to babies and children. Unfortunately, eczema, or atopic dermatitis, can occur at any age to any person; though most adults that develop eczema also had it as children. In general, when adult eczema develops, it is called a flare-up. To maintain healthy, nourished skin, you should know how to avert these flare-ups and how to treat your skin when irritation occurs.
Adult eczema is basically the same as childhood dermatitis. Flare-ups can trigger dry, prickly skin frequently found in patches. The skin can peel, crack, or even bleed. Regrettably, as you grow older, the flare-ups can be more pronounced and can be caused by a variety of allergens such as soaps, colognes, pollen, certain foods, and even extreme heat or coldness. More often than not, eczema is found on the arms, behind the ears, cheeks, legs, and neck.
When a flare-up ensues, treatment is based on the degree of severity. Medication may include corticosteroid creams and ointments applied on the skin until the flare-up is relieved. Commonly, this is substituted with a good moisturizing cream to heal the inflamed areas, which usually takes up to two to three days. In more serious cases, or when the skin does not respond to topical remedies, the corticosteroids can be taken orally or intra-muscularly (injected into the muscle). This is merely a short term solution. Antibiotics and antihistamines may be prescribed to take care of adult eczema as well. When the skin is itchy, it affects daily functioning and sleeping patterns.
For mild to moderate adult eczema cases that do not respond to topical medicines, management with phototherapy, or light therapy, is a consideration. Phototherapy involves the use of ultraviolet A or B light. For treating skin disease, narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) light is the most common type of phototherapy that is recommended by specialists. This employs a special machine that releases UVB light at 311-312 nm, which is the most beneficial fraction of natural sunlight for skin diseases. Some skin clinics have phototherapy machines to perform this, whilst handheld UVB narrowband lamps are also available for home care treatment.
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