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Suggest treatment for eczema on arms and across chest

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Posted on Wed, 13 May 2015
Question: I have experienced a skin rash on my fore arms, upper arms and across my chest for the last 8 or 9 months. I was treated with a steroid shot and steroid skin cream which reduced it greatly, but now that I have been off the steroids for a few weeks it is coming back. It is occasionally itchy, but no open sores. Since I have been using a Cortizone Cream to manage the itch. I've never had this before. I am 75 and still working full time and wonder if the stress of a 40 hour week is now too much. I am in excellent health otherwise. My BP is usually low 113/74 and heart rate is 53 and I run a mile a day. Don't know why the rash is coming back. My email is YYYY@YYYY Thank you
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (11 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Another steroid trial is needed

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

this sounds like eczema of allergic origin. Steroids are very efficient in cases like this but they do not provide a permanent solution. The eczema may recur particularly if the steroids were withdrawn prematurely. "Prematurely" can be very different between different patients. What is "too little" for one could be "too much" for another!

Since you've seen substantial improvement with treatment, you should give it another try and keep it until you're symptom free for some time. Afterwards you can try to very gradually reduce the dose. If the symptoms recur then you should increase the dose again and keep it for more time.

If the diagnosis is in doubt or the current treatment does not seem efficient, then your dermatologist is the right person to give you further guidance. I do not believe that there is something wrong with your health. Working too much at your 75 years is not recommended though! Psychological stress can be an aggravating or inciting factor in such cases.

I hope I've helped!
Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3764 Questions

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Suggest treatment for eczema on arms and across chest

Brief Answer: Another steroid trial is needed Detailed Answer: Hello, this sounds like eczema of allergic origin. Steroids are very efficient in cases like this but they do not provide a permanent solution. The eczema may recur particularly if the steroids were withdrawn prematurely. "Prematurely" can be very different between different patients. What is "too little" for one could be "too much" for another! Since you've seen substantial improvement with treatment, you should give it another try and keep it until you're symptom free for some time. Afterwards you can try to very gradually reduce the dose. If the symptoms recur then you should increase the dose again and keep it for more time. If the diagnosis is in doubt or the current treatment does not seem efficient, then your dermatologist is the right person to give you further guidance. I do not believe that there is something wrong with your health. Working too much at your 75 years is not recommended though! Psychological stress can be an aggravating or inciting factor in such cases. I hope I've helped! Kind Regards!