The next step is moisturising, so top to toe if you can and as many times a day as you can do that, bearing in mind that you might not be able to do that in certain situations. Those are things that I ask my patients to do whether or not they’ve got any active eczema or not.
The third thing is the more active treatment and that generally tends to be a type of steroid ointment. That does depend on how severe and where your eczema is. Now that’s where I find that people tend to become a bit more resistant to things because we have it ingrained into us that we shouldn’t be using any steroid ointment because it thins the skin. Now obviously, as a dermatologist, I’m asking you to put your faith in me.
Penelope Pratsou: I’m going to explain, any time someone comes in, how to use the steroid ointment, what quantities to use and how to step up and down in treatment, so that you’re using it safely but more importantly, quite effectively. In certain situations, we might want to use an ointment that’s steroid-free. That comes with its list of possible side effects, but it’s also quite safe, and those are called calcineurin inhibitors. They’re in a different class of medication.
Now if you have quite extensive eczema and these treatments for some reason haven’t worked, then there would be an option to use light therapy or phototherapy. There’s also medication that you can take by mouth, and that’s something that we could or might need to discuss. Then there is a very promising treatment which is an injection, and it’s a biologic treatment as we call it, and it’s called dupilumab, which is a tricky word to say, but it’s a new kid on the block, and it’s there for severe types of eczema if we need it.
If you notice that you have any of the symptoms or conditions that we’ve just discussed, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr Penelope Pratsou. She’ll be able to assess your condition and give you a personalised treatment plan.