Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, is a type of inflammation of the skin (dermatitis). The exact cause is unknown, but there is evidence that it may be genetic, environmental or an immune system dysfunction.
Itching, which may be severe, especially at night
Red to brownish-gray patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and in infants, the face and scalp
Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching
Eczema is common in children but can occur at any age. It is long lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever. No cure has been found for atopic dermatitis. But treatments and self-care measures can relieve itching and prevent new outbreaks. For example, it helps to avoid harsh soaps, moisturize your skin regularly, and apply medicated creams or ointments.
Moisturize twice a day with Vaseline Jelly, Cetaphil, or CeraVe
Use non-steroid once or twice a day (Elidel, Eucrisa, or Protopic)
Twice a day use steroid (Triamcinolone, Desonide, or Elocon) then cover the area with Vaseline and cotton clothing. Some patients prefer to wrap the area with saran wrap.
On the arms, it is safe to do this five days in a row. Then you will need to take a few days off. If the rash persists, you may use it again for another five days.
On the face, it is OK to use it for 2-3 a week (i.e., in the morning, that evening and the following morning). Be careful not to use it around your eyes.
Eczema flare-ups can sometimes get infected. To prevent infections, take bleach baths twice a week. Place 1/4 cup of bleach in a full warm bath.