Living with Atopic Dermatitis

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Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin reaction that appears after coming into contact with an external agent that provokes redness and intense itchiness. It is not just a superficial skin disease; it also has an important physical and psychological impact.  

Tube of cream and tablets

Systemic treatments. In addition to creams, for moderate-to-severe cases patients also need to apply systemic treatments (e.g., immunosuppressants) or biological medications (oral medications, usually tablets) to control the symptoms.  

Food pyramid

Diet. There is no specific diet that cures atopic dermatitis. Until an allergy study can be completed, certain foods should only be avoided if there is a clear relationship with worsening lesions. Spicy and acidic foods or even alcoholic drinks can aggravate the itchiness.  

Tube and hand with moisturiser

Skin hydration. Creams and emollients still form the foundation of dermatitis treatment. These products help prevent water being lost through the skin by retaining moisture and restoring the skin’s lipid components. 

Woman seated in Yoga position

Avoid stress, limit your physical exercise or number of hot baths because they can increase the itchiness. 

Cotton clothing label

Wear cotton clothes and avoid synthetic fibres and wool. We recommend cutting labels off your clothes and you should avoid wrapping up too much to reduce sweat. 

Woman with sunglasses and hat

Exercise precaution and protection in the sun. Sunshine often produces spontaneous improvements in the summer, but some people do not tolerate it very well (itchiness caused by sweat). 

Symbol of cold

Cold acts as an “anaesthetic” against the itchiness. Try placing a spray bottle with thermal spring water in the fridge, then spray the chilled water on the itchy area for a feeling of cool relief.  

Person taking a shower after a swim at the beach or swimming pool

After swimming in a pool or the sea, always shower to rinse off the chlorine or salt water and apply an emollient cream

Crossed-out person scratching

Do not scratch. The less you scratch, the less itchy it will feel and, in turn, your urge to scratch will wane. Nevertheless, keep your nails clean and cut short.  

Patient with coughing due to allergic reaction to plants, pollen and animals

Avoid anything that dries your skin. Cold air, water, soap, perfume, dust, DIY and pollen. 

Round pills

Corticosteroids. When used correctly, corticosteroids are safe and effective.  

Emotional support between two women

Social support. Patient associations tend to be very supportive; they offer advice and information through the participation of patients and/or relatives of people with atopic dermatitis. 

What is an allergy?

Consulta toda la información relacionada con Allergy

Read more

Substantiated information by:

Paula Ribó Gonzalez
Sara Gómez Armayones

Published: 15 May 2020
Updated: 15 May 2020

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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