Take care of your skin
- Keep your skin hydrated through bathing in warm (not hot) water and applying moisturizer right afterwards. Atopic Dermatitis: Taking Care of Your Skin
- Avoid things that irritate a rash or make it worse, such as soaps that dry the skin, perfumes, and scratchy clothing or bedding.
- Avoid possible allergens that cause a rash or make a rash worse, such as dust mites, animal dander, and certain foods.
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.