Learn to identify common triggers and implement proper skincare routines to reduce flare-ups and improve your overall quality of life. We’ll also discuss treatment options like medications, wet wrap therapy, and the importance of seeking professional medical advice.
- Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
- Atopic dermatitis can cause dry, itchy, and red skin that may form into scaly patches or bumps.
- Managing flare-ups requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both physical and emotional aspects of the condition.
Atopic dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. AD is characterized by dry, itchy, and red skin that may form into scaly patches or bumps. This skin condition can be frustrating and challenging to manage, but with the right strategies and tools, you can reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups.
Here are some effective ways to manage atopic dermatitis flare-ups:
- Recognize Triggers
One of the best ways to manage atopic dermatitis flare-ups is to identify and avoid triggers that can worsen the condition. Common environmental triggers may include dry air, air pollution, and heat . Emotional triggers such as stress or anxiety may also worsen atopic dermatitis . Additionally, certain physical triggers like allergens, irritants, or food can cause AD to flare up. Keeping track of the triggers that affect you can help you avoid them, and ultimately reduce the number of flare-ups.
- Effective Skin Care
Maintaining a consistent skincare routine is crucial for managing atopic dermatitis. Keeping your skin moisturized is key to managing dry skin and preventing flare-ups. Use moisturizers that are free of fragrance, alcohol, and other irritants. Avoid hot showers and baths, as hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead, take lukewarm baths or showers and avoid excessive scrubbing or rubbing.
Topical medications, such as corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors, are commonly prescribed by dermatologists to manage atopic dermatitis. Corticosteroids can help reduce inflammation and itching. Topical calcineurin inhibitors work to reduce inflammation by suppressing the immune system . Oral medications like antihistamines may be effective in managing itching.
- Wet Wrap Therapy
Wet wrap therapy is a treatment method that can help soothe inflamed skin and provide relief from itching. The therapy involves wrapping the affected area of skin in a damp layer of cloth or gauze, followed by a dry layer of cloth or gauze. This can help lock in moisture, reduce inflammation, and prevent scratching.
- Seek Medical Advice
It’s important to work closely with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized treatment plan that works for you. Your healthcare provider may recommend additional treatments or refer you to a specialist, if needed. They can also help you identify triggers, prescribe effective medications, and monitor your condition for any changes or complications.
Managing atopic dermatitis flare-ups requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both physical and emotional aspects of the condition. By recognizing triggers, practicing effective skin care, utilizing medications, using wet wrap therapy, and seeking medical advice, you can reduce the frequency and severity of atopic dermatitis flare-ups.
- Luschkova, D., Zeiser, K., Ludwig, A., & Traidl-Hoffmann, C. (2021). Atopic eczema is an environmental disease. Allergol Select, 5, 244-250. https://doi.org/10.5414/alx02258e
- Arndt, J., Smith, N., & Tausk, F. (2008). Stress and atopic dermatitis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep, 8(4), 312-317. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-008-0050-6
- Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors (TCIs). (n.d.) National Eczema Society. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from https://eczema.org/information-and-advice/treatments-for-eczema/topical-calcineurin-inhibitors/