Recapping the latest in 2022 eczema treatments under development.
Published On: Sep 30, 2022
Last Updated On: Nov 4, 2022
It’s going to itch, it might hurt and you’ll probably lose a lot of sleep – but there’s an entire community of people ready to help you. We’ve all been there and we’ve got you covered.
If you’re new to eczema, this is what you need to know:
First, eczema is not contagious – period. You cannot “catch” this skin disease the way you might catch the common cold or chicken pox. You can, however, inherit a genetic predisposition to eczema from your parents: identical twin studies show that if one identical twin has eczema, there’s a 75% chance the other twin will have eczema, too.
Second, eczema is much more than skin-deep. People with eczema are statistically more likely to have asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), food allergies, infections, depression, anxiety, sleep disruption and heart disease.
Third, no matter what anyone else says, you are the expert of your own body. Eczema affects everyone differently; no two cases of this skin disease are exactly the same. This means that having a conversation with your healthcare provider should be exactly that: a conversation, a shared dialogue in which you’re able to communicate your own lived experience with the condition in order to identify an affordable treatment that works best for you.
Assemble your medical dream team. These are healthcare professionals, ideally, who have a deep knowledge of treating eczema AND can make you feel comfortable when listening to you describe your symptoms. Shared decision making between patients and providers have been linked to better outcomes for patients. Many medical support teams include your: primary care provider (pediatrician for kids), dermatologist and an allergist (if need be). Use NEA’s eczema provider finder if you need support finding a dermatologist with expertise in eczema.
For many people new to eczema, the search begins immediately to identify your triggers. These are the factors in your body and environment that spur your eczema into a state of agitation (commonly referred to as a flare-up). For some people, identifying triggers is easy; for others, the process of identifying what causes your skin to flare can take more time, even years of trial and error. The hardest part is that it’s different for everyone – no two cases of eczema are alike.
No matter what your triggers, it’ll be important to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Eczema wreaks havoc on our bodies when our skin becomes excessively dried out. To combat this, each individual with eczema typically develops their own daily skincare routine to moisturize as often and as much as their skin needs.
If you’re a caregiver of someone with eczema, remember this: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. There may be times when your loved one needs immediate help, especially with the youngest members of our community; moreso, and what’s often overlooked, is that caring for someone with eczema can take place over an entire lifetime. The chronic nature of the disease may include many years of symptom-free life, followed by unexpected weeks of flaring skin.
As a caregiver, it’s also important to know when to ask for help. NEA is here for you, and we are an entire community of people with eczema and those who care for them, ready to help you.