In one of the other articles in this series I talked about the importance of taking a proactive approach to managing your dermatitis symptoms. Here are 10 tips that you can use as part of that proactive approach.
1. Identify and avoid your triggers: Triggers are substances or situations that make your dermatitis worse. Common triggers include soaps, detergents, fragrances, solvents and stress. Try to identify what triggers your flare-ups and avoid them if possible. You can use a diary to help you keep track of what you have been in contact with and when your symptoms occur. Alternatively, you can try an elimination diet if food allergies are suspected.
2. Be aware of how you use moisturizers: Moisturizers work best when used on top of damp skin, so use them after washing or bathing (but no more than twice a day). Still damp from washing? Then apply an emollient such as E45 Cream immediately – the water will help your skin absorb it better (and it’s cheaper than moisturiser!). If you find it difficult to apply creams and ointments because they feel sticky or greasy, try using sprays or lotions instead as these are easier to apply to large areas
Dermatitis is a general term used to describe a group of conditions that cause inflamed and irritated skin. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common form of dermatitis and is frequently seen in children. It can be found on any part of the body, but usually appears on the elbows, backs of knees and face.
How Can Dermatitis Be Treated?
It is difficult to cure dermatitis, but symptoms can be controlled with medication and good skin care. The British Skin Foundation has created a guide to help patients manage their condition. This includes tips such as avoiding certain foods, wearing protective gloves and taking showers instead of baths.
Another useful tip is to apply moisturiser twice daily, especially after washing hands or bathing. Moisturisers form a protective film over the skin that helps to prevent water loss from the outer layer of the skin (stratum corneum).
What Does Dermatitis Look Like?
The appearance of dermatitis varies from patient to patient, but generally it will appear as dry or scaly patches on the skin that are red, inflamed and itchy. Sometimes there may be crusts or blisters which ooze fluid.
Dermatitis is a general term for a skin irritation, or rash. It usually refers to a mild form of skin inflammation that can cause redness, itching, flaking, and swelling. There are different types of dermatitis, including atopic dermatitis (eczema), contact dermatitis (caused by irritants or allergens), and seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff).
If you have any kind of dermatitis, here are 10 things you can do to help relieve your symptoms:
1. Keep your skin moist
The most effective way to treat dermatitis is to keep your skin moist. Moisturising helps prevent the skin from drying out and cracking, which can worsen symptoms. It also has a softening effect which can reduce itching and redness.
2. Choose your moisturiser carefully
Most people with dermatitis need to apply moisturiser several times a day, so it’s important to choose one that suits you. Many people find that creams are greasier and therefore more effective than lotions. Ointments may be the best choice for very dry skin. You can use an emollient instead of soap and apply it after washing, when your skin is still damp – this will help trap moisture in the skin. You may need to experiment before you find a moisturiser that works well for you.
3. Use non-irritating products on your hair
If you have seborrhoeic dermatitis on your scalp, try using a shampoo containing coal tar or salicylic acid every time you wash your hair. You should also use a non-irritating conditioner on the ends of your hair only, avoiding the scalp. If this doesn’t work, try alternating between two different types of shampoo
1. Identify and try to avoid things that may irritate your skin
o Allergens from food, pets, medicines, plants or other environmental substances.
o Chemical irritants such as fragrances, detergents, soap or chemicals in the workplace.
o Extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
o Harsh soaps and detergents.
2. Stay Cool – Avoid hot baths and showers because they can make itching worse.
3. Moisturize – Apply moisturizer several times a day to help keep your skin moist and supple and to prevent itching. Some people need to use moisturizers all over their body, but others only need them in certain areas of dry skin.
4. Avoid Scratching – Scratching can make itching worse, break the skin and lead to infection and scarring. Avoid the urge to scratch by keeping your nails short and clean. Try wearing soft gloves at night if you tend to scratch in your sleep. If you must scratch, try not to scratch too vigorously or break the skin’s surface. You can also try gently rubbing your itchy skin with a cool washcloth or ice pack wrapped in a thin towel for a short time to help
1. Patch Test Results:
Do not be alarmed if your skin reacts to some of the patch test allergens. Many people have reactions to some of the chemicals used in cosmetics and toiletries (e.g., fragrances, preservatives and hairsprays), which are tested for during your visit. These reactions are common and do not necessarily mean you will develop dermatitis from using them.
If you react to an allergen, we recommend you avoid it in the future. If a reaction is severe or causes any concern, please see your doctor.
Dermatitis is a term used to refer to skin inflammation. It’s a condition that can have a number of different causes, and it has many different names depending on the cause. Eczema, atopic dermatitis, atopic eczema, contact dermatitis and contact eczema are just some of the terms people might use.
The symptoms of dermatitis include:
Small bumps or blisters
The symptoms may look different depending on the type of dermatitis you have. For example, in allergic contact dermatitis the redness begins at the site of contact with an allergen (in most cases nickel), whereas it appears all over the body in atopic eczema (also called atopic dermatitis).