These tips may help to prevent atopic dermatitis flare-ups:
- Moisturize frequently. Choose thick, greasy ointments over lighter lotions, when possible, and apply them right after bathing or cleansing the skin to lock in moisture. Choose fragrance-free moisturizers and avoid those with alcohol or other irritants.
- Try not to scratch. Resisting the urge to scratch itchy skin is a huge challenge for many people with AD. While eczema medications and moisturizerscan curb the itch, they don’t eliminate it entirely. Pay attention to situations where itching is the worst; if you can’t avoid such situations, try to distract yourself with an activity that will keep you busy and involve the use of your hands.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity.
- Avoid getting overheated or sweaty.
- Wear comfortable clothing. Choose cotton or other natural fibers over scratchy wool and synthetic fabrics.
- Avoid harsh soaps, detergents, or heavily scented cosmetics.
- Avoid common environmental allergens, such as pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander.
- Vacuum carpets and curtains at least weekly, and dust frequently.
- Wash bedding weekly in hot water.
- Increase humidity in the home by using a humidifier or placing trays of water near heating sources.
- Keep your bedroom cool at night.
- Wear gloves when using water and detergents (such as when washing dishes).