Eczema medical therapy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1], Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Edzel Lorraine Co, D.M.D., M.D.


Topical corticosteroids are the mainline treatment for eczema. Different potencies of steroids are rendered specifically for the severity of eczema. Other drug treatments often used for eczema include topical calcineurin inhibitors, crisaborole, antimicrobials, and antifungals.

Medical Therapy


  • Moisturizers
    • Eczema can be exacerbated by dryness of the skin.
    • Moisture content is the main factor that determines the occurrence of eczema.
    • European emollients such asOilatum, Balneum, Medi Oil, Diprobase, Sebexol, Epaderm ointment, Eucerin lotion, bath oils and aqueous cream can relieve eczema itchiness.
    • Topical application of sulfur gains popularity as an alternative treatment to steroids. However, no evidence-based publications are available yet on this matter. [1]

Light therapy

Herbal Medicine

Some of these topical remedies include:

2014 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Eczema by American Academy of Dermatology [7]

Class A
"1.Use of moisturizers. (Level of Evidence: I) "
"2.Use of topical corticosteroids. (Level of Evidence: I) "
"2a.Need for consideration of side effects with use. (Level of Evidence: I) "
"3.Use of topical calcineurin inhibitors (Level of Evidence: I) "
"3a.Use as steroid sparing agents. (Level of Evidence: I) "
"3b.Off-label use of topical calcineurin inhibitors in those age less than 2 years. (Level of Evidence: I) "
"3c.Proactive use of topical calcineurin inhibitors for maintenance. (Level of Evidence: I) "
"3d.Routine monitoring of topical calcineurin inhibitors blood levels not needed. (Level of Evidence: I) "
"4.Against routine use of topical anti-Staphylococcal treatment. (Level of Evidence: I) "

Class B
"1.Application of moisturizers after bathing. (Level of Evidence: II) "
"2.Wet-wrap therapy. (Level of Evidence: II) "
"3.Frequency of application of topical corticosteroids. (Level of Evidence: II) "
"3a.Proactive use of topical corticosteroids for maintenance. (Level of Evidence: II) "
"3b.Need for monitoring for cutaneous side effects with potent topical corticosteroids. (Level of Evidence: III) "
"3c.Addressing fears with use. (Level of Evidence: III) "
"4.Counseling on local reactions with topical calcineurin inhibitors and the preceding use of topical corticosteroids. (Level of Evidence: II) "
"4a.Concomitant topical corticosteroids and topical calcineurin inhibitors use.(Level of Evidence: II) "
"5.Bleach baths and intranasal mupirocin for those with moderate to severe AD and clinical infection. (Level of Evidence: I) "
"6.Against use of topical antihistamines. (Level of Evidence: II) "

Class C
"1.Bathing and bathing practices (Level of Evidence: III) "
"2.Limited use of nonsoap cleansers. (Level of Evidence: III) "
"3.Against use of bath additives, acidic spring water. (Level of Evidence: III) "
"4.Consideration of a variety of factors in topical corticosteroids selection. (Level of Evidence: II) "
"4a.Specific routine monitoring for systemic side effects with topical corticosteroids not needed. (Level of Evidence: III) "
"5.Informing patients regarding theoretical risk of cutaneous viral infections with use. (Level of Evidence: III) "
"6.Awareness of black-box warning of topical calcineurin inhibitors. (Level of Evidence: III) "


  1. "Sulfur". University of Maryland Medical Center. 4/1/2002. Retrieved 2007-10-15. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. Hoare C, Li Wan Po A, Williams H (2000). "Systematic review of treatments for atopic eczema". Health technology assessment (Winchester, England). 4 (37): 1–191. PMID 11134919.
  3. Atherton DJ (2003). "Topical corticosteroids in atopic dermatitis". BMJ. 327 (7421): 942–3. doi:10.1136/bmj.327.7421.942. PMID 14576221.
  4. Lee NP, Arriola ER (1999). "Topical corticosteroids: back to basics" ("Scanned & PDF"). West. J. Med. 171 (5–6): 351–3. PMID 10639873.
  5. Martins GA, Arruda L (2004). "Systemic treatment of psoriasis - Part I: methotrexate and acitretin". An. Bras. Dermatol (in English translation). 79 (3): 263–278. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  6. Stern RS (2001). "The risk of melanoma in association with long-term exposure to PUVA". J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 44 (5): 755–61. doi:10.1067/mjd.2001.114576. PMID 11312420.
  7. Eichenfield LF, Tom WL, Berger TG, Krol A, Paller AS, Schwarzenberger K; et al. (2014). "Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis: section 2. Management and treatment of atopic dermatitis with topical therapies". J Am Acad Dermatol. 71 (1): 116–32. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2014.03.023. PMC 4326095. PMID 24813302.