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Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) - Home Treatment

Home treatment for atopic dermatitis includes taking care of your skin and avoiding things that irritate it.

Take care of your skin

Control itching and scratching

  • Keep your fingernails trimmed and filed smooth to help prevent damaging the skin when you scratch it.
  • Use protective dressings to keep from rubbing the affected area. Put mittens or cotton socks on your baby's hands to help prevent him or her from scratching the area.
  • Try coal tar preparations. When applied to the skin, they may help reduce itching. But if your itching gets worse after using coal tar, stop using it.

Avoid sun and stress

  • Exposure to natural sunlight can be helpful for atopic dermatitis, but it is important to avoid sunburn. Too much sun, sweating, and/or getting too hot also can irritate the skin. When you use a sunscreen, choose one for sensitive skin.
  • Reduce stress to help your skin and keep rashes from getting worse. Try relaxation techniques, behavior modification, or biofeedback. Massage therapy is also helpful, especially in children.
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    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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