Dermatitis: Treatment and Skin Care

Contact dermatitis treatment consists primarily of identifying the cause of the rash and then avoiding it. Sometimes, creams containing hydrocortisone or other stronger steroidal creams with or without wet dressings may help relieve redness and itching. It can take as long as two to four weeks for this type of dermatitis to clear up.
Atopic dermatitis treatment typically consists of applying hydrocortisone-containing lotions to ease signs and symptoms. If your skin cracks open, your doctor may prescribe wet dressings with mildly astringent properties to contract your skin, reduce secretions and prevent infection. If itching is severe, your doctor may suggest you take antihistamines. Light therapy, which involves exposing your skin to controlled amounts of natural or artificial light, also may help prevent recurrences.

Skin affected by atopic dermatitis (atopic skin) must be kept well hydrated. Although researchers have yet to fully understand the causes of atopic dermatitis, it is known that skin dryness plays a big part in worsening symptoms. Soak in clean, warm water for 3 to 5 minutes. Your skin will absorb water and still retain its natural oils. Losing the natural oils makes the skin drier. Doctors may recommend that patients use a mild bar soap or non-soap cleanser, because normal soaps can be drying to the skin. Doctors do not recommend that patients use bath oils. After bathing, people with atopic dermatitis should air-dry their skin or gently pat their skin dry. A lubricant should also be applied to seal in the water that has been absorbed into the skin during bathing.
In order to protect and restore the skin, patients need to watch for repeated skin infections. If symptoms of a skin infection develop, patients should consult their doctor, and treatment should begin as soon as possible.

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