Atopic dermatitis, also known as atopic eczema, is a type of inflammation of the skin (dermatitis). It results in itchy, red, swollen, and cracked skin.
Children with atopic dermatitis have very sensitive skin . Therefore, it is desirable to avoid any known triggers. Take these steps:
- If you know what you are allergic to, stay away from those allergens.
- Care for your skin.
- Don’t scratch or rub the itchy areas. This can cause an infection or scarring. If your child has atopic dermatitis, keep his or her fingernails short.
- Use a moisturizer every day.
- Look for moisturizers that are more greasy than creamy. Creams tend to have ingredients that can irritate the skin.
- When you can, soak in a warm bath, and then gently pat your skin dry and put a moisturizer on your skin. This helps seal in the moisture.
- Use a mild unscented soap for “sensitive skin.”
- Avoid clothes that touch the skin in the form of wool or synthetic fibers. They should be cotton or silk. Thus, for example, cotton pyjamas can be worn under the trousers or line clothing with a cotton fabric.
- The clothes should be washed with mild soap, do not use detergents, fabric softeners or bleach. Washing machine can be used. Rinse the clothes very well to eliminate soap residues.
- Extreme hot and cold temperatures. The cold can dry your skin, and the hot can make you sweat, which can irritate your skin.
- Scented soaps. Use scent-free or perfume-free soaps for your skin, dishes, and laundry. Avoid fabric softeners, including dryer sheets.
- Cleaning products. Wear heavy-duty vinyl gloves with cotton liners when you are working with cleaning products. If you’re allergic to latex , avoid gloves that are labelled “latex” or “natural rubber.”
- Stress may also contribute to the worsening of the problem
- Bathe your child in warm — not hot — water.
- Limit your child’s time in the bath to 5 or 10 minutes.
- Baths with salty water are often very beneficial.
- Baths are better than showers
- It is not advisable to bathe the child very often. Unless excessively soiled (and therefore there is risk of infection), 3-4 times a week is usually adequate. Cleaning lotions can be used as an alternative to soap and water.
- Use cleanser only when needed and make sure the cleanser is mild and fragrance-free. Do not use bubble bath.
- Water that has penetrated the skin evaporates very quickly. For this we should apply a moisturizer within 3 minutes after the bath, and dress afterwards.
- Dry with a towel or cotton sheet, patting, without rubbing
- If your child has medicine that you apply to the skin, apply medicine when your child’s skin is almost dry and use the medicine as directed.
- Apply moisturizer on top of the medicine and to the rest of your child’s skin.
- When selecting a moisturizer, consider choosing a thick cream or ointment.
- Apply immediately after bathing
- Make frequently applications throughout the day. As a rule, when you change clothes in the morning and at bedtime
- Use non-alcoholic formulas, without preservatives or fragrances that can be irritating
- When selecting a product, “trial and error” sampling of different types may help to identify the best moisturizer for your child.
Control of itching
- It is very important to control itching. When stung, avoid scratching.
- To reduce infections of the lesions when scratched, always keep nails short and clean. For this purpose it is very important to file nails every 2 or 3 days. Putting cotton gloves on your child’s hands at night may help prevent scratching during sleep.
- Keep temperature and humidity levels comfortable. Avoid situations in which the air is extremely dry, or where your child may sweat and overheat. This is the most common trigger of the itch/scratch cycle.