Atopic dermatitis, otherwise known as eczema, often begins in childhood in individuals who have an inherited predisposition to the condition. A person with atopic dermatitis has sensitive skin that is prone to redness, flaking, itching, and inflammation. Acute atopic dermatitis causes weeping, oozing plaques of itchy skin.
Most treatment options for atopic dermatitis will have the main goal of rehydrating the skin with emollients, such as petroleum jelly or topical corticosteroids (used minimally), to help reduce inflammation and itching.
Scratching tends to lead to worsening of eczema symptoms. Oral antihistamines are also sometimes helpful in stopping the itching.
Oral antibiotics will sometimes be prescribed to help deal with the rash caused by any secondary infection triggered by atopic dermatitis.
Treatments for atopic dermatitis will be based on the patient’s age, symptoms, and general health. The most basic part at the heart of every treatment solution is skin care. Sticking to one recommended soap and moisturizer is important. Switching skin care products a lot can lead to further irritation.
The main thing to follow when adopting a proper skin care routine is proper bathing and consistent application of emollients. This is best done on wet skin without towel-drying. Avoiding hot baths and showers is also an important measure to prevent dryness. A lukewarm bath with a capful of chlorine bleach (Clorox) will help to cleanse and disinfect the skin. Oatmeal baths are also helpful.
If home remedies and over-the-counter options are not working, a doctor should be consulted. They can prescribe corticosteroid creams and ointments that can help with the condition.
There are also immunomodulators that are non-steroid topical ointments, such as tacrolimus (Protopic) and pimecrolimus (Elidel). These medications inhibit calcineurin, which is an important substance in the body that cause inflammation.
Speak to your doctor or a healthcare professional to figure out the best course of treatment for you.
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