This blogpost is for people who have atopic dermatitis (eczema) and parents of a child/ baby with atopic dermatitis. Atopic Dermatitis is a distressing disease for the parents and like any other Paediatric Dermatologist in Gurgaon, we frequently spend a lot of time consulting them about daily do’s and don’ts.
Here, we highlighted a few things you should be doing for your little one, in order to minimize flares of the disease.
The guiding principle:
The most crucial aspect of Eczemz/ Atopic Dermatitis is the preservation of skin moisture. It is only through the maintenance of this moisture that we can break the itch scratch cycle.
- Use cotton clothes, avoid synthetic materials and especially wool.
- In winters, the first layer has to be cotton and then a woollen, to avoid direct contact with wool.
- Keep child’s fingernails filed short.
- Use regular laundry detergent, but rinse and clean well. No bleach or fabric softener.
- Wash new clothes before wearing them to remove irritating dyes and fabric finishers.
- Avoid drying laundry outside during the pollination season.
- Air the room out in all seasons.
- Avoid dust, animal hair etc.
- No tobacco smoke
- Writing a diary to note any triggers that cause flare-ups.
- Water temperature should be between 32° and 34° (lukewarm)
- Showers are better. A short duration, a five minute shower every day.
- Turn the water off when washing to decrease contact time.
- For those who like baths and for children: add a liquid emollient to the bath to neutralize water hardness. 5-10 minutes at most, to minimise the contact time with the municipal water.
- Wash with soap-free products (dermatologist recommended) as the pH is closest to that of the skin and does not aggravate skin dryness.
- Wash hair with dermatological shampoos that are soft or intended for frequent use.
- Dry by patting, as rubbing reactivates itching. Leave the body wet after bathing.
Moisturization in atopic dermatitis:
5-minute, lukewarm baths followed by the application of a moisturizer. (Dermatologist recommended)
- Keep the moisturizer in the bathroom and apply all over the body while wet, to seal in moisture and allow water to be absorbed through the skin.
- Moisturize 2-3 times a day.
- Wash your hands before applying a moisturiser.
- Apply a liberal amount of the moisturizer, warming it first between your hands, and apply in large circular movements. (Massage)
- Do not apply an emollient on raw/ red skin
- Do not rub the skin
When to contact a Dermatologist:
- Condition not responding to moisturizers
- Symptoms continue to worsen
- There are signs of infection fever, redness, or pain