Choosing the right eczema treatment

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that requires constant attention to be kept under control. Whilst choosing the right creams for your skin are important adhering to your treatment regime is equally as important.

Dr Steven Feldman, M.D., from Wake Forest University School of Medicine recently wrote in an issue of Archives of Dermatology “non-compliance can explain why some skin conditions may seem resistant to treatment.”

Eczema is an individual condition

Eczema is a very individual condition and similarly treatment is also individual. However, success of a treatment will often depend on how compliant the patient is with following the instructions. Treatments need to be used for several days before they can safely be ruled out as ineffective.

Dr Feldman went on to say, “Physicians must develop practical measures to improve patients’ compliance: establishing strong, trusting physician-patient relations, choosing medications that can fit patients’ lifestyles, using patient education materials designed to motivate without overly stressing risks and scheduling a follow-up visit shortly after initiating new treatment.”

Consider lifestyle when selecting treatments

A person’s lifestyle needs to be considered. Some people find applying creams several times a day difficult but are able to take oral medication without any trouble. Others find that treatments applied only at bath time or bedtime are easiest to comply with.

It is not only the type of treatment the patient is going to use that is relevant in the patients’ compliance but also the patient-doctor relationship.

Feldman noted that “Patients who are more satisfied with their visit are more trusting of their doctor, worry less about adverse effects and use their medication more regularly.”

These studies indicate the importance of doctors developing good relations with their patients and frequent follow-ups to ensure treatments are being used as instructed and offering the results required.

Patients using over the counter treatments to control their eczema need also to take these factors into consideration and select treatment forms that they feel they can comply with.

Having a positive outlook about the treatments being used will also assist in compliance and increase the chances of success with the treatment.

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