Treating eczema. Artwork showing the topical application of a cream to skin affected by eczema. Eczema is a condition in which the skin becomes inflamed, red and itchy, and fluid-filled vesicles (pale pink areas) form beneath the epidermis. These may rupture and join up forming a weeping area which may become infected. The use of corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone in topical applications greatly reduces the inflammation and irritation of eczema. Cortico- steroids suppress the inflammatory response by limiting the ability of white blood cells and tissue macrophages to produce substances, such as histamine, which mediate inflammation.
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