13.5.1 Preparations for eczema
Topical preparations for eczema
- Refer to COMPASS therapeutic notes-‘Primary Care Pharmacological Management of Atopic Eczema.’
- All patients with eczema should use emollients along with soap substitutes (and/or bath oil if appropriate).
- Emollients with antimicrobials may be considered in patients with infected eczema only.
- Exacerbation of eczema may represent secondary bacterial or viral infection. Appropriate swabs should be taken, and topical anti-bacterials applied. Systemic antibiotics may be required in widespread infected eczema.
- Bandages (including those containing zinc and ichthammol) are sometimes applied over topical corticosteroids or emollients to treat eczema of the limbs. Zinc and ichthammol cream is available as a “special” on a named patient basis.
- Lichenification, which results from repeated scratching, is treated initially with a potent corticosteroid. Bandages containing ichthammol paste (to reduce pruritis) and other substances such as zinc oxide can be applied over the corticosteroid or emollient.