In a review of 24 recent publications on topical treatment of allergic skin diseases, the following was identified as the most recent evidence on the subject:
Eczema is best treated through topical therapy
Applying medication directly to the skin to treat atopic dermatitis (AD) is still the best treatment.Topical steroids are considered first line therapy. Some studies noted that calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) are as effective as steroids in treating atopic dermatitis, if not more in terms of improving the skin barrier. TCIs are preferred treatment for the face and areas where skin rubs against skin such as the neck and axillae. These studies indicate that TCIs may deserve a higher recommendation in the treatment of AD.
Natural oils hold some benefits
Certain natural oils may also be useful in treating AD. Oils with positive effects include sunflower seed oil, coconut oil and mineral oil, however it has been found that olive oil negatively impacts both normal and AD skin.
Bleach baths can positively supplement treatment regimens
It has been found that having bleach baths positively contributes towards improved AD, as well as reducing the colonization of S. aureus, a common bacterial cause of skin infections. By reducing the growth of such bacteria on the skin through bleach baths, AD flares can be decreased substantially.
Taking Vitamin D daily helps
Daily treatment with a vitamin D supplement significantly reduces the symptoms of winter-related atopic dermatitis. “Among children with vitamin D deficiency, whose atopic dermatitis gets worse during winter, we found convincing evidence that even a low dose of vitamin D supplement helps,” said Dr. Camargo of Massachusetts General Hospital.
Above all, keeping the skin well moisturized is of utmost importance. Using bland emollients immediately after bathing will force water into the skin, preventing evaporation and resulting in better hydrated skin. Studies have not shown one type of ointment or cream to be significantly superior.