Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is eczema a medical condition that you can never get rid of?"
I am a 34 four year old mother twin three year old girls who have had eczema since they were born. Their father also has eczema. I have tried everything to help keep their extremely dry and itchy skin under control. The only thing that seems to help is the cream that the doctor prescribed. I would like to know if they will have to battle this condition for the rest of their lives?
Eczema is a chronic skin disease, likely with at least some hereditary component (i.e. passed from parents to children) in which there is a mutation affecting the proteins that form a normal skin barrier. This alteration in the barrier layer of the skin results in an inability to maintain proper hydration of the skin and the subsequent development of dry skin leads to pruritus (itchiness) and inflammation. In terms of whether or not the condition persists over one's entire lifetime, there are studies that show about 40% of children with eczema will eventually grow out of the disease as they enter adulthood. for the other 60%, the eczematous patches persist most commonly on the back of the neck, the back of the knee and the inner crease of the forearm. likely the cream your doctor is prescribing is a topical corticosteroid, which helps to suppress the inflammation associated with the eczema lesions. other strategies to improve eczematous skin include: -avoid dry arid air (humidifier in bedroom) -maintain skin moisture with the use of emollient cream (eg Eucerin) -monitor for infection (increased redness, purulent discharge) and treat with antibiotics -avoid excessive washing and heavy-duty soaps. -use low doses of benadryl to help control the itching (which leads to more inflammation). Hope this helps!