Your clinician can prescribe a wide variety of medications to treat the dry skin, itching, and inflammation associated with eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis (AD).
Steroid creams and ointments work on the skin to activate its natural protections. Steroids are classified based on how strong they are, ranging from the least potent (Class VII) to the most potent (Class I). Clinicians typically start eczema treatment by prescribing low-potency steroids and then build up their strength as needed. Commonly prescribed topical steroids include desonide, hydrocortisone, triamcinolone, fluocinonide, and clobetasol.
Topical calcineurin inhibitors
Topical calcineurin inhibitors work directly on the immune system to control a chemical that can lead to eczema flare-ups. These AD medications include tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel).
Antihistamines and lotions
Your clinician may also recommend over-the-counter treatments to help control eczema symptoms. These include oral antihistamines like Benadryl that may relieve itchiness, and lotions like Eucerin, CeraVe, Aquaphor, Lubriderm, Aveeno, Gold Bond, Cetaphil, and Vaseline that can help protect the skin barrier.
Please note: This information is for general reference only. Your clinician will review your symptoms and health history to determine which (if any) eczema treatments are medically appropriate.