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Atopic Dermatitis and Tips to Deal with It

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Latika Arya 91% (164 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi  •  26 years experience
Atopic Dermatitis and Tips to Deal with It

Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease that most commonly affects children during their first year of life. This is also commonly noted in older children and occasionally in adults. This disease causes severe itching that many a times leads to skin infection. These rashes are commonly seen over the scalp, neck, cheeks and face. As the child grows older and also in adults, the rashes mainly appear in body creases and folds.

Aetiology

The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is still under research, but it is believed that people with the following are at risk of getting atopic dermatitis

  1. People with asthma or hay fever

  2. Living in cities and in cold climate

  3. Family history of dermatitis

Dermatitis is not caused by food allergies, but people with dermatitis are allergic to certain type of food like milk and other dairy products, shellfish and nuts.

Symptoms

  1. Dry itchy and scaly skin

  2. Redness and rashes

  3. Scratching and itching

  4. Appears bumpy and develop knots in thickened areas

Treatment

It’s important to visit the dermatologist for treatment to control the disease and prevent it from worsening. Treatment includes medicines to control itching, reduce skin inflammation (redness and swelling) and clear infection

Prevent Relapse

The dermatologist will also suggest lifestyle modifications, which are very important to manage the disease.

Tips for people with Dermatitis

1. Ways to ease discomfort:

  • Make sure the humidity and temperature levels are comfortable.

  • Apply moisturizer twice daily to make sure the skin does not get dry and cracks.

  • Enquire your doctor about how to use wet wrap therapy and its effects.

  • Make sure your child’s finger nails are cut short and smooth.

2. Bathing care:

  • Bath your child with warm water not with hot water and make sure you complete the bath within 5-10 mins.

  • Just pat the skin after bath with soft cotton towels and don’t make it dry completely.

  • Apply the medicine if advised after bath. Make sure you apply the medicine before the skin gets completely dry.

  • Apply moisturizer over the medicated skin.

  • Avoid bubble bath and prefer bleach bath every two days if the skin gets infected.

3. Wash clothes the right way:

  • Uses limited amount of detergents to wash the clothes.

  • Rinse the clothes with adequate amount of water and dry it completely under direct sunlight.

  • Wash new clothes with plain water before wearing to your child to remove excess dyes and fragrances. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.

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