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    Common Skin Rashes

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    How Is Atopic Eczema Treated? continued...

    For people with mild-to-moderate eczema, topical immunomodulators (TIMs) can help. TIMS -- including brand name products Protopic and Elidel -- work by altering the body's immune response to allergens, preventing flare ups. However, in 2005, the FDA warned doctors to prescribe Elidel and Protopic with caution due to concerns over a possible cancer risk associated with their use. The two medications have an FDA "black box" warning on their packaging to alert doctors and patients to these potential risks. The warning advises doctors to prescribe short-term use of Elidel and Protopic only after other available eczema treatments have failed in adults and children over the age of 2.

    Other drugs that might be used for patients with eczema include antibiotics (to treat infected skin) and antihistamines (to help control itching).

    Phototherapy is another treatment that helps some people with eczema. The ultraviolet light waves found in sunlight have been shown to benefit certain skin disorders, including eczema. Phototherapy uses ultraviolet light, either ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB), from special lamps to treat people with severe eczema.

    Risks associated with phototherapy include burning (usually resembling a mild sunburn), dry skin, itchy skin, freckling, and possible premature aging of the skin. Your health care professionals will work with you to minimize any risks.

    Can Atopic Eczema Be Prevented?

    Currently, there is no effective strategy for preventing atopic eczema, but the symptoms of the condition can improve. To improve the signs of eczema:

    • Reduce stress
    • Avoid scratchy materials (for example, wool) and chemicals such as harsh soaps, detergents, and solvents
    • Moisturize frequently
    • Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity
    • Avoid situations that cause sweating and overheating

    Granuloma Annulare and Your Skin

    Granuloma annulare is a chronic skin condition that consists of a circular-shaped rash with reddish bumps (papules).

    Most often, the condition affects children and young adults. Granuloma annulare is slightly more common in girls and usually is seen in people who are otherwise healthy.

    What Causes Granuloma Annulare?

    The cause of granuloma annulare is unknown.

    What Are the Symptoms of Granuloma Annulare?

    People who have granuloma annulare usually notice a ring of small, firm bumps over the backs of the forearms, hands, or feet. More than one ring may be noticed in some cases. The rash may be mildly itchy.

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