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Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, can’t be cured, but it can be treated.

This tool helps you have a conversation with your allergist or health care provider to decide what treatments are best for you.

It's easy:

  1. Read about different treatment options.
  2. Respond to a few simple statements based on your lifestyle and preferences.
  3. Print out your answers and bring them to your next appointment.
Let's get started!

Note: The information and materials here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. They are not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s allergist or health care provider. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.

About Eczema

About Eczema

The best treatment for eczema depends on how severe your symptoms are and how they affect your life. Other things you should think about are cost and whether the treatment will be easy for you to use. Most people with eczema use more than one treatment to control their symptoms.

Your skin is like a coat for your body. It holds water in and keeps irritating substances out. When you have eczema, your skin doesn’t do that as it should, and your skin can get inflamed – dry, red, scaly and itchy.

Eczema affects people differently

For people with mild eczema, warm baths, moisturizer and avoiding triggers should control their symptoms. Common triggers include:

If those steps don’t help, you and your allergist or health care provider might decide it’s time to try topical treatments. Topical means you put them on your skin, just like moisturizers, but these treatments do more than moisturize.

If you have already tried topical treatments and they don’t control your symptoms, it might be time to think about systemic treatments.

Skip ahead to that section
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Treatment Information

Topical Treatments

There are several types of treatments you apply to your skin that do more than moisturize. They may come in creams, ointments, lotions, gels, oils or sprays.

This chart explains more about these treatments.

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How are they used?

CorticosteroidsCalcineurin inhibitorsCrisaborole 2% (Eucrisa®)
Applied to the problem area once or twice a dayApplied to the problem area once or twice a dayApplied to the problem area once or twice a day

What are the advantages?

CorticosteroidsCalcineurin inhibitorsCrisaborole 2% (Eucrisa®)
Controls the redness and itching quicklyOK to use on skin that can get thin, such as eyelids, around the mouth, genitals, armpits and groin

Can be used for a long time
OK to use on skin that can get thin, such as eyelids, around the mouth, genitals, armpits and groin

Can be used for a long time

What are the possible side effects and disadvantages?

CorticosteroidsCalcineurin inhibitorsCrisaborole 2% (Eucrisa®)
Stretch marks

Skin thinning

Redness

Spider veins

Face rash
Stinging and burning when you first use it

Very slight risk of infection

The label notes that when people have taken this type of drug by mouth there have been rare reports of cancers, but this has not been shown when used on the skin
Burning or stinging can occur

What else should I know?

CorticosteroidsCalcineurin inhibitorsCrisaborole 2% (Eucrisa®)
Needs to be used regularly

Can be used with other treatments

These are not the same as male hormone steroids that are abused by some athletes
Needs to be used regularly

Can be used with other treatments

Needs to be used regularly

Can be used with other treatments

What is the cost of treatment?

CorticosteroidsCalcineurin inhibitorsCrisaborole 2% (Eucrisa®)
($-$$$$$$)

Generic forms are available

Work with your allergist or health care provider to figure out what it will cost based on your insurance
($$$$-$$$$$$)

Generic forms are available

Work with your allergist or health care provider to figure out what it will cost based on your insurance
($$$$$$$$)

No generic form available

Work with your allergist or health care provider to figure out what it will cost based on your insurance

Can children use it?

CorticosteroidsCalcineurin inhibitorsCrisaborole 2% (Eucrisa®)
Yes – a few are approved for infants as young as 3 months YesYes – children 2 or older can use it. If your child is younger, discuss with your allergist or health care provider

There are some additional topical treatments known as barrier creams you might want to talk about with your allergist or health care provider, including MimyX®, Atopiclair™, Eletone® and EpiCream®.
Please talk to your allergist or health care provider about using these medications if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

Your Turn

The next step is to talk about these treatments with your allergist or health care provider. To help you figure out what might work best for you, answer the following statements, choosing Agree, Neither or Disagree.

Your responses regarding your preferences on eczema treatment are below. Please print this page out and share it with your allergist to continue the conversation on what treatment might be right for you.

Yes

No

I have eczema on a large part of my body.

I have eczema on sensitive parts of my body, such as my eyelids, around my mouth, genitals, armpits or groin.

I find it difficult to apply topical treatment to my eczema every day.

I don’t like the idea of using steroids.

I would like to try newer medications.

I would rather use a medication that has the longest safety record.

I am willing to pay more for a medication that is newer.

Results

All done!

Print out your answers and bring them to your next appointment with your allergist or health care provider.

Print Your Answers

If your eczema is severe, you may want to learn about systemic treatments.

Find out more about systemic treatments.

Note: The information and materials here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. They are not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s allergist or health care provider. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.

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