Does eczema look like spots?

The patches may clear up on their own eventually, but this can take weeks, months or even years if not treated, and they can recur.

Use your emollient all the time, even if you are not experiencing symptoms as they can help limit the return of your condition. Many people find it helpful to keep separate supplies of emollients at work or school.

If you have an extensive area of infected eczema, you may be prescribed an antibiotic to take by mouth. This is most commonly flucloxacillin, which is usually taken for one week. If you are allergic to penicillin, you might be given an alternative such as clarithromycin.

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Explainer: what is eczema and what can you do about it?

Ask your pharmacist for advice on the different products and how to use them. See your GP if your eczema does not improve after using an over-the-counter preparation.

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Choice of topical corticosteroid

Antihistamines may be prescribed during flare-ups of discoid eczema to cope with the symptom of itching, particularly if it is interfering with your sleep. However, they will not treat the damaged skin.

Your GP or specialist can recommend suitable treatments.

Discoid eczema

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If corticosteroid tablets are taken often or for a long time, they can cause a number of side effects, such as:

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Helping Your Child Feel Better

Irritants can cause inflammation and itching, bringing on eczema. Harsh chemicals can cause a rash in anyone, but people with eczema may be sensitive to mild irritants, such as wool and synthetic fabrics, detergents, soaps, perfumes, and cosmetics. Stress or anxiety can cause a flare-up, too. So can sweating, along with wetting and drying your skin a lot, such as when you wash your hands. Cold, dry environments can also cause a flare.

A small amount of household bleach in the bath may help tame inflammation, though recent research shows it may not help prevent infections. Talk to a dermatologist or other doctor first. These baths use a specific amount of bleach, greatly diluted. Never put bleach directly onto skin!

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Over-the-counter hydrocortisone or nonsteroidal prescription creams may ease mild to moderate eczema. Ask your doctor before using corticosteroids on children under 2. Don’t use them for more than 7 days. Sometimes, stronger corticosteroids are needed to control inflammation. Side effects, like thinning skin, infections, and stretch marks, are more likely with long-term use. You have to be careful using steroids on the face, especially around the eyes. For severe eczema, your doctor may recommend steroid shots or pills, or biological injections.

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Skin Care

These can look a lot alike. You’ll want to make sure that it really is eczema, and not an infection. Tell your doctor about symptoms of an infection, such as honey-colored crusts, pus- or fluid-filled blisters, scaly patches, swelling, or a fever.

Don’t share emollients with other people.

When using corticosteroids, apply the treatment accurately to the affected areas. Unless instructed otherwise by your doctor, you should follow directions on the patient information leaflet that comes with the corticosteroid.

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Your GP should be able to make a diagnosis just by examining the affected areas of skin. In some cases they may also ask questions or arrange some tests to rule out other conditions.

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Symptoms of discoid eczema

Do not apply the corticosteroid more than twice a day. Most people will only have to apply it once a day.

Further treatments that may be available from your dermatologist include:

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