Transdermal patches can be a very precise time released method of delivering a drug. Cutting a patch in half might affect the dose delivered. The release of the active component from a transdermal delivery system (patch) may be controlled by diffusion through the adhesive which covers the whole patch, by diffusion through a membrane which may only have adhesive on the patch rim or drug release may be controlled by release from a polymer matrix. Cutting a patch might cause rapid dehydration of the base of the medicine and affect the rate of diffusion.
Phototherapy or light treatment is an effective treatment for eczema. With phototherapy, various wavelengths of sunlight (UVB, UVA, combined UVA/UVB, UVA1, or narrow-band) are administered in a unit that is similar to a telephone booth but which is lined by fluorescent appearing light bulbs. The type of phototherapy that you will receive will be determined by your dermatologist. It is usually administered twice weekly. Possible side effects of phototherapy are redness, sunburn, or dryness. Long-term side effects, which are more likely with white skin, are possible skin cancers and enhanced aging.
Topical steroids are available as creams, lotions, gels and ointments; selection of an appropriate product can also provide good moisturization of the skin. The wide spectrum of potencies and bases allows these mediations to be used both effectively and safely while under the care of an experienced physician.
During flares, over-the-counter moisturizing preparations that include a topical corticosteroid (such as clobetasone butyrate and hydrocortisone) are helpful to control inflammation and restore the skin barrier. The intensive use of emollient-based products can reduce the need for topical steroids.