Atopic dermatitis guidelines
Children with atopic dermatitis have very sensitive skin. Therefore, it is desirable to avoid any known triggers.
- 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.
- Do not eat spicy or salty foods.
- Avoid sudden temperature changes and excessively heated or cold environments. Sweating usually accentuates the eczema. Therefore, it is convenient to:
- Keep the house at a balanced room temperature.
- Avoid overdressing children.
- Control excessive exercise, which can cause excessive sweating.
- Stress may also contribute to the worsening of the problem.
- Excessively dry climates are usually harmful.
Bathing children with atopic dermatitis.
- 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.
- To soak well the skin with water have a 20-30 minute bath with water on its own or with an oily emollient (oil bath).
- Do not use soaps (or use oatmeal soap or lotions).
- Dry with a towel or cotton sheet, patting, without rubbing.
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.
- Apply immediately after bathing.
- Make frequently applications throughout the day. As a rule, when you change clothes in the morning and at bedtime.
- Creams or ointments are preferable. Fatty creams are more effective for their hydration power, but are less well accepted by the patients. Do not use lotions.
Use non-alcoholic formulas, without preservatives or fragrances that can be irritating.
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.
Antihistamines may be given to help control itching of the skin.
If the child scratches unconsciously, you should try keeping him distracted and entertained with activities and games.
If scratching occurs at night while sleeping, it is sometimes advisable to put cotton mittens on to prevent injury.
Causes that can worsen atopic dermatitis
Identify the specific potential causal factors that can contribute to the worsening of the problem in a particular child, and you should avoid / reduce exposure to these factors:
- Environmental allergens (dust mites, moulds, animal dander or epithelium).
- Food allergens.
- Contactant allergens (metals, etc.).
To do this, we should make timely allergologic exploration.
- Infection control. Often children’s skin with atopic dermatitis is infected. When the child has red areas, weeping skin or scabs, the skin is probably infected. You should consult your doctor to prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
- Avoid smoking at home.