SKIN ALLERGY TREATMENT & MANAGEMENT

 a) Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

Eczema is sometimes described as an “itch which rashes.” The rash is caused by scratching, so the more the patient scratches the more severe the rash will be. This is why it’s important to avoid scratching.

The most effective way to treat eczema is to use moisturizers and topical ointments that reduce the inflammation e.g. topical steroids or calcineurin inhibitors. The itch is not relieved by antihistamines although these are sometimes used at night to help people with eczema sleep.

Antibiotics may be prescribed if a skin bacterial infection is suspected as a trigger for your eczema flare-up. Symptoms include crusting, oozing and pain. Oral steroids should be avoided, as although they are effective the eczema usually returns when the medicine is stopped. Oral steroids can also cause serious side-effects if taken for long periods of time.

Sometimes cotton undergarments and body suits help protect the skin from irritants and from scratching. Avoid using soap products that contain sodium laurel sulfate and any triggers that cause a reaction. Your allergist will be able to help determine whether there is a trigger that can be avoided.

These skin allergy treatment and management strategies can relieve social challenges as well. People with eczema, especially children, are sometimes ignored or singled out by others who believe the rash is contagious.

 b) Urticaria (Hives) and Angiodema

If the cause of your hives can be identified, you can manage the condition by avoiding that trigger. Treating hives or angioedema is often successful with oral antihistamines that control the itch and recurrence of the rash.

If the rash is not controlled with a standard dose of the antihistamine, your doctor may suggest increasing the dose for better control of your symptoms. If antihistamines do not control the rash, or if it leaves bruises, then it is important that your doctor rules out other causes which may need alternative therapies.

If you are on certain blood pressure medicines (ACE inhibitors) and develop angioedema, it is important to consult your doctor. Changing to another blood pressure medicine may help the angioedema go away