Atopic Dermatitis - Home Treatment
Home treatment for
atopic dermatitis may include:
- Avoiding dry skin. People with atopic
dermatitis have overly sensitive skin, so it is important that you take care of
your skin. Keep your skin hydrated through
proper bathing and use of moisturizers. This includes
bathing in lukewarm water, bathing for only 3 to 5 minutes, avoiding gels and bath
oils, and using soap only on the underarms, groin, and feet on a regular basis.
Apply a moisturizer right away after bathing, even while your skin is still
wet. For more information, see:
- Atopic Dermatitis: Taking Care of Your Skin.
irritants that cause a rash or make a rash worse.
These include soaps that dry the skin, perfumes, and scratchy clothing or
- Avoiding possible
allergens that cause a rash or make a rash worse.
These may include dust and
animal dander, and certain
foods, such as eggs, peanuts, milk, wheat, fish, or soy
products. Talk to your doctor first to determine whether allergens are
contributing to your atopic dermatitis. For more information on food allergies,
see the topic
- Controlling itching and scratching. Keep your
fingernails trimmed and filed smooth to help prevent damaging the skin when
scratching. You may want to 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.
Coal tar preparations applied to the skin also may
help reduce itching.
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.
Reducing stress can help your skin. Emotional factors don't cause atopic dermatitis, but they can cause immune reactions that make your skin problems worse. Try relaxation techniques, behavior modification, or biofeedback. Massage therapy is also helpful, especially in children. For more information, see:
- Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation.