No, eczema can’t be cured. Yes, there is a chance you can have eczema for life. Yes, you might have to apply creams for perhaps the rest of your life! And yes, you do have one of the most frustrating conditions there is.
Please, have your moments of despair, but never, never, never stop using your moisturizers! They are the single most important tool in your eczema treatment toolbox! They are without side effects in most people and can make a major difference to the control of dermatitis by simply keeping skin well hydrated.
Moisturizers are the most important tool in your treatment toolbox
By hydrating your skin the best you can, you will also use less immunosuppressant creams and ointments like corticosteroids, Tacrolimus and Pimecrolimus. Less immunosuppressant medication means there is less chance of getting the side effects of these medications like skin thinning (corticosteroids), infections and even the small unproven possibility of skin cancers (Tacrolimus and Pimecrolimus).
If you do not apply your moisturizers religiously, the whole emphasis of your treatment will start shifting toward immunosuppression. If you were someone who controlled your eczema with emollients and intermittent corticosteroids you will find that you need more corticosteroids. Some people will need treatment with light therapy and a few people might need immunosuppressive tablets. Light therapy raises the chances of skin cancer and most immunosuppressive tablets raises the chances of skin and other cancers.
There are many different emollients on the market. Experiment! Find one you like and stick with it! Use it head-to-toe at least twice a day. Use it even if your skin looks perfect to you. Remember, the goal of using emollients is not only to sooth active eczema, but also to prevent flare-ups from occurring!
Get fed up, feel despair, feel frustrated and then just start applying the emollients again and again and again and again…….!