Avoiding dry skin. This is essential in
treating atopic dermatitis. Keep your or your child's 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:
irritants that cause a rash or make a rash worse.
These include soaps that dry the skin, perfumes, and scratchy clothing or
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, 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.