rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


A wide variety of questions were posted to our panel of skin experts during our Ask the Expert – Eczema session on 19-22 November. Topics included vitamins, good gut health, avoiding certain foods, going vegan, sleep, medication options, Aron Regimen treatment, eczema reappearing during the menopause and, of course the diagnosis of eczema in children and treatments for them.

Our trio of consultant dermatologists – Dr Emma Wedgeworth, Dr Adil Sheraz and Dr Anton Alexandroff – replied to every question with their professional and sympathetic advice.

In response to a question about good gut health, Dr Wedgeworth replied: “I think we are just at the cusp of understanding more about how gut health and skin health are linked. There is evidence that probiotics can help reduce the risk of eczema, but once eczema has developed, the jury is a little out. It may be that a combination of probiotics can help. I think looking at yourself holistically (whilst also making sure you are caring for your skin) is a really good way of managing eczema.”

Another participant said that after going vegan for six months they developed eczema on both elbows, which only cleared up when they took B12 supplements. Dr Wedgeworth replied: “Lots of studies have been done to see if vitamin supplementation helps eczema and unfortunately, even though a few individuals might be helped (like yourself), on a larger scale, vitamins don’t routinely appear to help eczema. There is lots of research going into foods and how we can eat more healthy to improve our skin and how gut health and skin health are linked, so I hope that reassures you.”

Dr Adil Sheraz dealt with a question about hydrocortisone cream, writing, “Hydrocortisone is a steroid based cream, it is a quite weak, however, on sensitive areas such as the face and eyes, and long-term use will cause thinning of the skin.” In the Q&A he also discusses other treatment options in more detail.

Unsurprisingly, a few questions were about children with eczema. “How old do children need to be to get a proper diagnosis of eczema, rather than just dry skin?” was one. To this, Dr Alexandroff explained: “Usually we can make a diagnosis as early as one week of age.”

Another concerned parent stressed that her son’s atopic eczema had “gone far and beyond what it should be,” adding that he’d been discharged by a dermatologist twice.

“The most important factor in eczema is regular use of moisturisers,” advised Dr Sheraz. “This needs to be done 3-4 times a day along with avoidance of soaps and fragranced products. If the eczema is predominantly on the face then depending on the age of your son this can occasionally be due an allergy – such as perfumes, pollen, or other products that may be in contact with the face. Sometimes allergy testing can be beneficial- you can discuss this with your dermatologist – of course this may or may not be suitable for him. Oral antihistamines used regularly will help as will short courses of mild topical steroids.”

“With the cold weather and the heating being turned on in the house I find that this time of year many patients will attend my clinic with dry, itchy skin and eczema exacerbations. Therefore, it is vital that the use of moisturisers is increased and the heating is only kept on for as long as is really necessary.”

The complete set of questions and answers will be available on the Ask the Expert Eczema session page for 12 months – so why not take a look and see what you might learn from them?

Future Ask the Expert sessions

Work/Life Balance: 10-13 December, 2018
Addiction: 14-17 January, 2019
Fatigue: 11-14 February, 2019

We’ll organise many more, with new topics, throughout 2019.




Remember that even when the sessions are not running, you can talk to other people going through similar experiences, or share your feelings on our talkhealth forums.



This is the talkhealth blog spot, where we post on a wide range of health conditions, topics, issues and concerns. We post when we see something that we believe is of interest to our visitors. Our posts do not reflect any particular view or standpoint of talkhealth, but are merely to raise attention and awareness.

One Response to Excellent advice given in Our Ask the Expert session on Eczema

  1. A very useful range of topics were covered in this session. It’s well worth visiting to read what was discussed.

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