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What is Severe Eczema?

Article Details
  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Severe eczema is a type of skin condition that is also frequently referred to as dermatitis. In general, eczema is fairly common, and although there is no cure, it can usually be managed successfully. People do occasionally have severe eczema, which often requires prescription medication to treat. All types of eczema cause red, itchy patches to crop up on the skin. The problem typically manifests during infancy and tends to run in families.

Most types of eczema, including severe eczema, tend to flare up as a result of certain triggers. Different people have different triggers, but things like perfumed cosmetics, bath products, and laundry soaps are some of the biggest culprits. Products that contain harsh soaps rather than mild soaps may also aggravate eczema symptoms. Some people additionally might notice that their severe eczema flares up when they are exposed to lots of dust or pet dander. Identifying and making an effort to avoid the various triggers for eczema is generally considered one of the best ways to manage the problem.

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People who have severe eczema may find that it can disrupt their daily lives. Many people attempt to treat their eczema with over-the-counter products, such as corticosteriod creams, only to discover that they have little or no effect. When this is the case, it is typically necessary to see a doctor for stronger prescription corticosteriod creams. People with severe eczema might occasionally need to take an oral antihistamine at night if they have problems sleeping due to the excessive itching. Oral antihistamines act as sleep aids and also may help the itchiness to subside.

Doctors occasionally prescribe oral steroids for people who suffer from severe eczema. Prednisone is a popular prescription steroid for eczema treatment. Even though prescription steroids are effective, they are typically considered a temporary fix. Taking steroids regularly for extended periods of time can lead to serious complications, such as osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Doctors usually only prescribe steroids when over-the-counter medicines are ineffective, which is often the case in patients with severe eczema.

Even though there is no cure for eczema, it does seem that many people grow out of it over time. People who develop eczema during infancy often no longer have problems with it by the time they reach adulthood. Regardless of whether a person's eczema is mild or severe, he or she doesn't have to suffer from it all the time. Learning to avoid specific triggers and asking a doctor about methods of treatment can make managing the skin condition much easier for most people.

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