How to Treat Facial Eczema [ Epi #479]

How to Treat Facial Eczema [ Epi #479]

Eczema is uncomfortable and unsightly. But here’s the good news: if moisturizers and cortisone creams aren’t
giving you relief, help may be shockingly simple. Hello, I’m Dr. Neal Schultz [pause] And welcome to DermTV. The name Eczema just sounds uncomfortable…
And it is. It’s not exactly an onomatopoeia, but it’s
cacaphony tells you it’s not something you want. Eczema’s most immediate impact is discomfort, whether it’s itching or burning or both, and even worse for many people, are the unsightly patches of redness, flaking
and even crusting which, when on the face, just don’t cover well with
makeup. Eczema is often persistent, but when it does
go away, just to make matters a little worse, it tends to be recurrent and come back for
no apparent reason. While eczema can be anywhere on the body, it’s the visual impact of the patches of facial
eczema that’s usually the deal breaker. Your first reaction is usually to use a moisturizer
because of the flakes, because most people think of flaky skin as
being caused by dryness. But flaky skin is actually the result of many
other skin problems such as inflammation or infection, which together
or individually, cause the flaking in eczema. And since moisturizers don’t help either of
those problems, they don’t help your eczema. Then it’s onto cortisone creams, readily available over the counter, as well
as stronger ones by prescription. If the cause of the flaking, redness and discomfort
is inflammation, then the anti-inflammatory powers of the cortisone
cream will provide meaningful relief for your eczema. But so often cortisone creams don’t work because hidden in the redness and flaking
and crusting is an invisible and mischievous infection. That infection is usually caused by familiar
germs like staph or strep bacteria. But here’s the twist. Through a positive feedback
mechanism, the bacteria make the eczema worse, so unless you treat the infection with an
antibiotic, the eczema won’t get better. So to finally control your eczema, in addition
to the cortisone cream, a topical antibiotic ointment applied to the
eczema at least four times per day is essential and
often works magic. My favorites are Bacitracin and Polysporin
ointment, both of which are available without prescriptions. Your take away for treating persistent eczema
anywhere on the body should be to use topical antibiotics in addition
to cortisone creams and that moisturizers usually aren’t helpful. And now a bonus for the medically curious
viewers! The flakes and crusts of the eczema are wonderful
nutrients helping the bacteria grow and multiply. The byproducts from bacterial growth are intrinsically
irritating, so they make the eczema worse. This then causes more flaking and crusting. Which then feeds the bacteria more… increasing
their growth even more… and amplifying the positive feedback cycle which can only be broken by an antibiotic. I think that’s cool.

About the Author: Earl Hamill


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  7. I had bad acne and kept putting daily things in my face and one day I was being dumb and found a year old acne lotion thing (that was bad in the first place) and decided to use it… now my skin has been red and dry and burning every time I put something in it or smile or move my skin. I need help 😭 it’s been like this for three days .. at least break is next week 😭 😭

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