Eczema is a long-term condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, red and cracked, according to the NHS. Young children are most at risk of developing eczema symptoms. But it could also develop in later life. If you have eczema, your symptoms can vary between small patches of dry skin, to widespread, inflamed areas of cracked skin. What are four unusual ways to help alleviate symptoms?
Treatment of eczema often involves using over-the-counter creams on the affected areas.
Some people may find that their eczema does not respond to initial treatments and often look to other methods to help ease the symptoms.
Using ultraviolet light, known as phototherapy, can reduce the body’s inflammation response and may reduce symptoms of eczema.
During phototherapy, a person enters a machine that emits UVB light for a few seconds.
The machine can treat the entire body or only the body parts left uncovered.
Around 70 per cent of people who have phototherapy find that their eczema improves.
Wet wrap therapy involves applying damp strips of fabric onto the skin where eczema is flaring up.
This aims to increase the skin’s moisture content and prevent the skin becoming dry and cracked.
To use this therapy, a person applies medicines or moisturisers as lotions onto the skin and then wraps clean, water-soaked gauze or fabric around the area.
There are many different medications that doctors can prescribe that suppresses a person’s immune response.
People can either have these as lotions applied directly to the skin or take them orally as tablets.
According to studies, using the drug cyclosporin A could help improve the symptoms of severe eczema.
It’s important to speak with your GP or pharmacist before trying new immune-suppressing drugs.
Researchers at the University of Zurich looked at an antibody therapy which could alleviate the chronic inflammatory skin disease.
The researchers were able to demonstrate that in mice as well as in humans, Malassezia fungi stimulates the immune system responsible for maintaining the balance on the skin.
Professor of immunology and head of the immunology section at the Vetsuisse Faculty of UZH, Professor Salomé LeibundGut-Landmann said: “The findings of our study suggest that therapeutic antibodies that neutralise the effect of interleukin-17 could be an effective treatment for eczema.
“These antibodies already exist and are being used to treat psoriasis with great success.”