Managing Atopic Dermatitis - Fairview Health Services
 
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Managing Atopic Dermatitis

To manage your symptoms and keep them in check, try these self-care tips:

Hand with cloth patting red, irritated skin dry.Caring for Your Skin

  • Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser (or even soap substitutes) for bathing. Rinse well. Pat skin dry.

  • Take warm, not hot, baths. For a soothing bath, add bath oil or oatmeal to the water.

  • Use moisturizer liberally right after you bathe, while your skin is still damp.

  • Avoid scratching because it will cause more damage to your skin. 

  • Topical, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream may help control mild symptoms. 

Controlling Your Environment

  • Avoid extremes of heat or cold.

  • Avoid very humid or very dry air.

  • If your home or office air is very dry, use a humidifier.

  • Avoid allergens, such as dust, that may be present in bedding, carpets, plush toys, or rugs.

  • Know that pet hair and dander can cause flare-ups.

Seeking Medical Treatment

Another way to keep symptoms under control is to seek medical treatment. Talk with your health care provider about the type of treatment that may work best for you. A topical treatment may be prescribed to put on the skin daily. Oral medications (taken by mouth) may also be prescribed. Among medications you may be given are antihistamines, antibiotics, or corticosteroids. Sometimes injections may be needed to control the symptoms, and you may even need antibiotics if skin infections occur. Treatments do not work the same way for every patient. So, if symptoms persist or get worse, ask your health care provider about other treatments.

Making Lifestyle Choices

  • Manage the stress in your life.

  • Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing that does not bind or rub the skin.

  • Avoid contact with wool or other scratchy fabrics.

  • Use fragrance-free products.

Getting Good Results

Now that you know more about atopic dermatitis, the next step is up to you. Follow your health care provider’s treatment plan and your self-care routine. This will help bring atopic dermatitis under control. If your symptoms persist, be sure to let your health care provider know.

 

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