ZocdocAnswersIs there a cure for eczema?

Question

Is there a cure for eczema?

I have eczema on my neck and back. I've use a prescribed skin cream and try to not scratch. My real question is, will this ever go away completely? Will it end up popping up in other parts of my body?

Answer

Eczema is a generic term for inflammation and itching of the skin. There are several types of eczema, and the answer to your question depends a little on what type you have. For example, if your eczema is primarily a sensitivity reaction of the skin to particular chemicals (say certain soaps or laundry detergents) or to particular metals (that might be in rings, necklaces, etc), then there is a cure in a sense, because if you manage to avoid these things completely you shouldn't have any further symptoms. On the other hand if your eczema is on the spectrum of what we call 'atopic dermatitis' which is a form of skin inflammation that doesn't have any clear cause (other than a tendency of the skin to be excessively dry and to worsen in times of stress), then this is a condition that you will likely have for the rest of your life. Atopic dermatitis can be controlled, often very well in fact, with regular moisturizing of the skin and steroid creams from time to time to keep the inflammation and itching down. However, people who have atopic dermatitis will still continue to experience flares periodically throughout their lives. Talk to your primary care doctor or your dermatologist for more information.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.