Q. Are there any simple treatments for severe eczema other than steroids? I just hate to keep smearing steroid cream on my skin all the time.
A. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin inflammation that may be red, itchy, crusty or blistered. Although topical steroid creams are effective for eczema, chronic use can thin the skin, leading to permanent stretch marks and prominent blood vessels.
Another option might be oolong tea. One study showed that it improved eczema in patients who drank it (Archives of Dermatology, Jan. 2001).
We discuss a number of other approaches to easing eczema in our Guide to Skin Care. They include probiotics, dietary changes, Pycnogenol and CamoCare, as well as high-tech light therapy.