How to curb itching caused by eczema?

To control an itch, sometimes a bit of self-positive reinforcement in knowing that the more you scratch the worse it becomes is helpful. I always advise not to start scratching because once you start scratching it becomes itchier and the whole itch-scratch cycle beings, so try not to initiate it. I do recommend a method called cold compress to the area, or alternatively, those cooling moisturizers with that menthol feel may also help to relieve the itch, so these are some of the measures you can do. Of course, you can take antihistamines and apply some topical inflammatory medications to help.

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Answered By

Dr Colin Theng

Dermatologist

Is it possible to have laser treatment if I have eczema prone skin?

Hi D – yes, there is definitely a higher chance of aggravating your eczema with laser treatment. Your doctor may choose to use a lower powered laser setting to see what happens initially, and to minimize the chance of a flare up. It’s hard for me to comment on whether it’s worth it for you to bite the bullet as you didn’t give me any other pertinent details – ie how well controlled your eczema is, how many flares you’ve had, how severe are your flare ups etc. The worst that could happen is you get a bad flare up of your eczema.

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Human

Are there any long term cures for eczema?

You may want to read this post about eczema - it's a pretty comprehensive overview about the causes of, and treatment of eczema. Eczema is due to an overactive immune system that attacks important bits of the skin, leading to inflammation (and rash). The skin loses its effectiveness as a barrier, resulting in: Water loss Dry skin Itchy sensation As Dr Colin explained, there are no permanent "cures", however it's very important to be consistent with the treatment that your doctor has prescribed to minimise the chances of recurrence.

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Human

How can I control bad eczema flares without using oral steroids?

I’m sorry to hear about your bad skin condition. In life, its always a battle. We always have to weigh our odds in everything we do (or NOT do). Same goes for medication, our first pharmacology lecturer to “choose our poisons wisely”, and very apt indeed. If your flares are causing you a lot of problems, sometimes the benefits of using them might outweigh the “perceived” risks. Certainly, there are potential risks of using oral and cream steroids, but they are meant for short term use.

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Dr Paul Ang

General Practitioner

What causes eczema?

Eczema is a very common skin condition in Singapore, but the underlying cause varies between individuals. Most commonly, there is a genetic predisposition to having dry skin. When the skin is dry, it allows for tiny gaps (not visible to the naked eye) in the skin to develop. This results in loss of moisture from the skin to the environment (inside out) and entry of allergens (substances which promote allergy) and bacteria into the skin (outside in).

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Human

Is eczema contagious?

Please be rest assured that eczema is not contagious. You will not get eczema from being in contact with a person having eczema. However, most individuals with eczema have an underlying genetic predisposition. Since both your children share similar genes, they may have genes which make them prone to developing allergies and dry skin, but show varying degrees of dryness and eczema between them. To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

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Human

How do I find the best doctor to cure eczema in Singapore?

You should always find a doctor that you are comfortable asking questions and allowing him/her to examine your skin. You may consider recommendations by friends / family or a clinic’s track record before making an appointment. To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

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Human

Should someone with eczema avoid certain foods?

Hi Jian Hua, There are many causes for eczema, mostly due to a genetic predisposition. We consider food allergy causing skin rashes if the child has recently tried the food (usually during the weaning periods) and has demonstrated consistent skin rashes every time that particular food is introduced. It is unusual to gain a food allergy if the child has been eating the same food for a long period of time without any skin or gut problems. Skin rashes due to food allergies tend to be severe, and occur with every single ingestion of the suspected food.

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Human

What are the best treatment options for eczema in Singapore?

This is the one advice I give to all my patients: moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. As dry skin is the key driving force behind eczema, the main strategy for treating eczema would be to moisturize the skin regularly. Use gentle cleansers and moisturizers to prevent skin dryness. Avoid cleansers and moisturizers with fragrances or harsh preservatives which can irritate the skin. Moisturizers are generally divided into 2 broad categories: Oil based moisturizers which are longer lasting and provide a barrier effect, allowing minimal water loss.

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Will eczema go away completely?

This is a common question which many patients with childhood eczema ask. Usually, if the eczema is well controlled in childhood, with infrequent flares, there is a good chance of outgrowing eczema as the child gets older. However, if the eczema was severe or poorly controlled, resulting in skin changes, it may be difficult to get rid of eczema completely in adulthood. However, we can still aim for good control with minimal flares. To learn more about eczema, do come down to National Skin Centre's public forum on Eczema on 27 October 2018 to find out more!

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Human

What should I do if my eczema is worsening?

Hello Jen, Thank you for your question. Treatment of eczema consists of: topical emollient/ moisturiser topical steroid oral antihistamines (itch) oral steroid topical/ oral antibiotics (secondary infection) reduce exposure to triggering factors It is vital to moisturise your skin on a regular basis to control and prevent eczema flares. You can start with topical steroid cream and oral antihistamine for eczema flares. Oral steroids may be used in stubborn and more severe cases. If there are any signs of secondary infection (eg.

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Answered By

Dr Jiwei Wu

Aesthetic

What’s the difference between eczema and atopic dermatitis?

Yes and no. Eczema is defined as a chronic itchy inflammatory skin disease. There are many causes for eczema and it is labelled accordingly. For example, if it is due to an irritating environmental cause, it can be called contact eczema. Atopy is a group of diseases including eczema, allergic rhinitis and asthma. We use the terms “atopic dermatitis” and “eczema” interchangeably as most eczema patients have a genetic predisposition for atopy or have eczema together with asthma and or allergic rhinitis.

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Human

Is it necessary to do a comprehensive patch test for eczema in Singapore?

First things first – you can certainly tell your dermatologist that you are keen on a patch test the next time you visit him, especially with your recent flare up. He will tell you why it is or isn’t indicated for your situation. But even so, the test needs to be done on clear skin, meaning you need to get your eczema under control first before the patch test can be carried out. The reason why your doctor prescribed steroid cream is because that’s the correct treatment for your eczema.

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Should I see a dermatologist or aesthetic doctor for hormonal acne, facial eczema and PIH?

Great question. I can only give you my personal opinion, and attempt to break it down for you. For starters, there’s no such thing as a doctor who “specializes in laser treatments”. Yes, there are courses that doctors can take to acquire the license with different types of laser treatments, but essentially any doctor can take them in Singapore. This leaves us with dermatologists and aesthetic doctors. In Singapore, both groups do skin-related aesthetic procedures, such as lasers, botox, treating lines under the eyes, and PIH. Both also manage problems like acne.

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Human

Could I have eczema if I have a red, scaly rash around my mouth?

Your description sounds typical of angular cheilitis, which is a fairly common inflammatory condition affecting the corners of your mouth. It can be caused by several things, eczema being one of them. It could also simply be due to dry, chapped lips. Occasionally, it can be caused by a type of infection due to bacteria, yeast, or virus. Depending on the underlying cause, it may persist indefinitely if you don’t seek help from a doctor. GPs will be able to start you of with the right treatment, and they may refer you to see a dermatologist if necessary.

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