Eczema is a chronic skin disease. Treatment requires addressing symptoms with prescription anti-inflammatory agents (e.g., topical steroids, calcineurin inhibitors, etc.) and good moisturizers. Moisturizers can be over-the-counter or prescription.
Use the RED, PINK, NORMAL rule to know how to treat your skin and reduce risk of adverse effects from prescription steroids (i.e., thinned skin, stretch marks). This should also help your medicine last longer.
RED=inflamed, irritated, and itchy skin. Use prescription topical anti-inflammatory agent twice daily. Moisturize daily.
PINK=improved, but still not normal skin.
- Use prescription topical steroid agent twice daily on weekends only OR
- If you have a calcineurin inhibitor (Protopic® ointment or Elidel™ cream), Eucrisa, or other nonsteroid topical anti-inflammatory agent, switch to using that twice daily and stop the topical steroid. Moisturize daily.
Skin treatment tips:
- Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser such as Dove® sensitive skin, CeraVe, Cetaphil® or Vanicream™. If skin is severely flared, you can just use plain water (applying cleanser only to underarms and privates).
- Pat your skin dry.
- Within three minutes, apply prescription cream or ointment to areas with rash.
- Then immediately apply a gentle moisturizing cream or ointment (NOT lotion) to all of your skin:
Cetaphil® cream Petroleum jelly (e.g., Vaseline® ointment)
Vanicream™ skin cream Vaniply™ ointment
AVEENO® cream Aquaphor®
Cerave® cream WaxeleneTM
- Reapply moisturizer at least once more daily. Reapply your prescription cream (prior to moisturizer) if your prescription instructs you to do so.
- Avoid use of alcohol on the skin.
Additional tips for patients with sensitive skin:
- Use a detergent that does not contain fragrances (e.g., All® Free Clear, Tide® Free & Gentle, etc.)
- Avoid dryer sheets. These tend to have a lot of fragrances.
Please call 918-340-6539 with any questions or concerns.