Living with atopic dermatitis (AD) can sometimes be a challenge. You don’t always know when a flare-up will happen. You may not know what will trigger it. This makes it harder to prevent flare-ups. It can also be frustrating and discouraging. But, it’s important to keep the skin strong to help prevent infections and flare-ups. To help, we have some tips for you.
Keep the skin moist and clean.
- Moisturize the skin at least twice a day and always after a bath or shower. Moisturizers can be creams, ointments and lotions. Learn which products work best for you.
- Put the moisturizer on when the skin is still damp. Moisturizers help seal in moisture. Use a soft towel that no one else uses and gently pat the skin. Then put moisturizer on.
- Use gentle, mild soaps. Deodorant soaps and antibacterial soaps can dry out the skin.
- Bathe in warm water, not hot water.
- The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends a 10-minute diluted bleach bath to remove some of the bacteria from the skin that can cause infections. Avoid doing this more than twice a week – and don’t let yourthe head get under the water. The recommendation is half cup of household bleach (not concentrated bleach) in a bathtub filled to the overflow drainage holes.
- You can also soak just the affected areas.
- Dry the skin off or take a bath or shower when you’re sweaty.
- Use a humidifier in the house.
Stay away from products that irritate your skin. This may include things like dish soap, laundry detergent and shampoo. Wear gloves if you need to use products like cleaning supplies that irritate your skin.
Avoid food, pollen or pet dander that can often cause allergy symptoms in AD.
- Use a high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filter that can help remove some allergens.
- Keep the house as clean as you can.
- Change to hypoallergenic pillows and mattress covers.
- Get rid of any mold as soon as you see it.
Talk to your doctor about taking allergy medications. Many over-the-counter products or prescription medications are available to help relieve allergy symptoms. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which ones might work best.
Get good sleep and eat a healthy diet. Take care of yourself for your overall well-being.
Manage stress as best as you can. Here are some ways to help lower stress. Find ways that work for you:
- Slow deep breaths, a walk, or listening to music or other calming sounds.
- Working on a project, like gardening, crafts and, knitting.
- Practicing yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
- Using essential oils if they don’t irritate the skin.
- Avoiding stressful situations
Join a support group. Talking to others going through the same day-to-day challenges or a professional counselor can help.