Infantile eczema; Atopic dermatitis; Dermatitis - atopic; Eczema - atopic
SKIN CARE AT HOME
Taking care of your skin at home may reduce the need for medications.
Avoid scratching the rash or skin if you can:
Keep the skin moist (called lubricating or moisturizing the skin). Use ointments (such as petroleum jelly), creams, or lotions 2 - 3 times a day. Moisturizers should be free of alcohol, scents, dyes, fragrances, or other chemicals. A humidifier in the home will also help.
Avoid anything that makes your symptoms worse. This may include:
When washing or bathing:
Antihistamines taken by mouth may help with itching or if you have allergies. Often you can buy them without a prescription.
Most causes of atopic eczema are treated with medications that are placed directly on the skin or scalp (called topical medicines):
Other medicines that may be used include:
Eczema is a chronic condition, but you can control it with treatment, by avoiding irritants, and by keeping the skin well-moisturized.
In children, it often clears beginning around age 5 - 6, but flareups will often occur. In adults, it is generally a long-term or recurring condition.
People with eczema tend to have dry skin that flares up more in the winter, when the air is cold and dry.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if:
Excema and hand dermatitis. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 3.
Atopic dermatitis. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 5.
Greer FR, Sicherer SH, Burks, W and the Committee on Nutrition and Section on Allergy and Immunology. Effects of early nutritional interventions on the development of atopic disease in infants and children: The role of maternal dietary restriction, breastfeeding, timing of introduction of complementary foods, and hydrolyzed formulas. Pediatrics. 2008;121:183-191.
Lewis-Jones S, Mugglestone MA; Guideline Development Group. Management of atopic eczema in children aged up to 12 years: summary of NICE guidance. BMJ. 2007;335:1263-1264.
Ascroft DM, Chen LC, Garside R, Stein K, Williams HC. Topical pimecrolimus for eczema. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Oct 17;(4):CD005500.
Bath-Hextall FJ, Delamere FM, Williams HC. Dietary exclusions for established atopic eczema. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD005203.
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