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Treatment of eczema

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Can be considered in terms of:

  • general education
  • first-line therapy
  • second-line therapy

In children, NICE suggest a treatment schema based on the severity of the atopic eczema:

  • mild atopic eczema
    • emollients
    • mild potency topical corticosteroids
  • moderate atopic eczema
    • emollients
    • moderate potency topical corticosteroids
    • topical calcineurin inhibitors e.g. pimecrolimus
    • bandages
  • severe atopic eczema systemic immunosuppressive treatments are reserved for the treatment of more severe cases of eczema that have been inadequately controlled with topical treatments (such as topical corticosteroids and topical calcineurin inhibitors)
    • emollients
    • potent topical corticosteroids
    • topical calcineurin inhibitors
    • bandages
    • phototherapy
    • systemic therapy -


  • use topical corticosteroids of appropriate potency to treat affected sites
  • topical calcineurin inhibitors (including tacrolimus and pimecrolimus) are licensed for use in adults and children two years of age and older as second-line treatments for moderate to severe eczema that has not been controlled by topical corticosteroids, when there is serious risk of important adverse eIects from further topical corticosteroid use (particularly irreversible skin atrophy)


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