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Home: Diseases & Conditions: Atopic Dermatitis: How To Care?

Atopic Dermatitis: How To Care?

How To Care For Atopic Dermatitis?

If you or anyone else in your family suffers from atopic dermatitis, the first attempt should be to reduce the severity and frequency of flare-ups of the condition. That will improve the lifestyle as well as reduce the need of medication over long periods. Small care goes a long way in preventing the flare-ups of atopic dermatitis. Few of them are discussed here.

1. Avoid All Skin Irritants:
These may be clothing or bed linen that irritates the skin. Avoid synthetics and wool. Cotton is best. The laundry detergent can remain in the washed clothes. Therefore use a non-irritating washing detergent. If you use a product with neutral pH, that will be better. Rinsing out the detergent twice will ensure removal of traces of it in the clothing. Wear new clothing only after washing it first. Anything that can scratch or irritate the skin should be prevented.

2. Avoid Food Triggers:
Avoid all food that can act as a trigger. Most people show different reactions to food and a person has to try and find out which food can irritate his/her system and flare-up atopic dermatitis. Your doctor will suggest you allergy test for food if required. Consult your doctor about food to be avoided.

3. Avoid Stress:
Avoid all kinds of stresses. Stress is a trigger in most of us. Try and relax and find out about a stress therapy that may reduce your stress.

4. Avoid Scratching:
Keeping fingernails short will ensure that the scratch marks don't hurt the skin much. Scratched skin can develop infections. Consult your doctor about anti-itching measures. He/She may suggest some medicines. Keeping the skin moisturized reduces the dryness of the skin. The supple moisturized skin will help prevent flare-ups. Avoid every skin care product that contains color pigments or perfumes. They can act as irritants and triggers. Use a plain moisturizer after bath. Lock in your skin moisture as soon as you finish your bath after you pat dry the skin.

5. Baths:
Bathing too often will dry the skin. Bathe with tepid warm water. Hot water will dry your skin. This is more essential in dry weather when skin loses lot of moisture. Use a very mild soap or cleanser that is free of perfumes, colors and any irritants. Don't rub your skin while bathing. Use of any washing aid such as washing cloth should be strictly avoided. Lather yourself with your fingers gently. Soaking yourself for a long time in bathing tub will dry your skin. Avoid everything that dries your skin or producesan irritation or allergy. Apply the moisturizer within three minutes after bath. Let the skin remain a little wet before you apply the moisturizer on it. Use oily moisturizers in dry weather. Avoid using oil-based moisturizer on body parts that may get sweaty or hot.

6. Avoid Environmental Triggers:
Avoid pollens, animal fur, dust mites, etc.

7. Other Triggers:
Some jewelry can also irritate the skin and trigger a flare-up. Solvents of all types and chemicals are bad for skin. Avoid exposure to all these as much as possible. You may get a flare-up while your home is being painted. You have to watch for every trigger and avoid it.

8. Weather Changes:
Humidity dropping, temperature rising suddenly - such changes in weather can trigger a response. You may have to even plan your vacations accordingly. Sweating can trigger the condition and so can over-heating.

Article created on: June 24, 2006

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