Best Treatment Options For Atopic Dermatitis

Best treatment options for atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis (AD), the most common, severe, and chronic type of eczema, is an inflammatory skin condition. Dermatitis here refers to a condition of the skin and atopic relates to diseases that are a result of allergic reactions. It is a non-contagious skin condition and is characterized by scaly rashes, redness, oozing, and severe itching. Atopic dermatitis typically starts in childhood and changes its severity over the years. Children under one year of age usually have these rashes and redness all over their body while the older children commonly have it on their elbows and back of their knees. On the other hand, the hand and feet of adults are the most affected areas.

Atopic dermatitis comes and goes over time and aggravates when the skin is exposed to allergens, including, but not restricted to, dust mites and pet dander. The other factors that make this skin condition worse for many people include detergents, lotions, perfumes, cleaning products, soaps, and weather change. Depending on the nature and severity of the skin condition and keeping in mind a number of other factors, people can avail an appropriate atopic dermatitis treatment.

Atopic dermatitis – treatment
Following are the different treatment options those suffering from atopic dermatitis can count on. Atopic dermatitis treatment can be done using a number of over-the-counter products, including:

The simplest way to deal with atopic dermatitis is to keep the skin moisturized using effective moisturizers. Those suffering from this skin condition should develop a habit of moisturizing their skin immediately after bathing. OTC moisturizers offer long-term relief to the skin and they come in three different types:

  • Lotions: These are the lightest moisturizers and are a mix of water and oil that is easy to spread on the skin. As the water present in the lotion evaporates quickly, the lotion may not be an appropriate choice for treating a severe atopic dermatitis condition.
  • Creams: Compared to lotions, creams are much more hydrating, as they possess high oil content. Therefore, you can count on ideal creams for keeping your chronically dry skin well hydrated most of the time.
  • Ointments: Ointments, contain the highest oil content and less water in comparison to creams and lotions. The best ointments are the ones that contain few ingredients. The simplest and the most effective ointment is petroleum jelly, as it has only one ingredient. Such ointments are superb for people who have sensitive skin. They do feel extra greasy on the skin but you can always choose to apply them on your skin before sleeping at night.

Oral antihistamines
Yet another over-the-counter atopic dermatitis treatment option is to use oral antihistamines. For example, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine can ease the itch and scratch cycles that literally keep people suffering from atopic dermatitis awake at nights.

Topical steroids
For treating a not-so-severe atopic dermatitis condition, you can even count on low potency topical corticosteroids. Easily available in most drugstores and grocery stores, you can use them on your irritated skin immediately after you moisturize it.

Phototherapy, the treatment with light, is a common ultraviolet B atopic dermatitis treatment. This treatment can be a good option for those whose skin is not responding to standard atopic dermatitis treatments. Phototherapy is used for mild, moderate, or severe cases of atopic dermatitis in adults and only for treating severe symptoms in children.

Prescription medications
When your skin doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medications, you can seek a doctor’s help who will write you a prescription based on your skin condition. Different types of prescription medications widely used for atopic dermatitis treatment are:

  • Prescription topical steroids
    Prescription topical steroids are grouped from class 1 (strongest) to class 7 (least potent) based on their effectiveness. Their use depends on the skin condition and the age of the patient, as the strong topical steroids are not suitable for the sensitive skin of children. Therefore, one must consult a doctor before using any of these topical steroids.
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs)
    These anti-inflammatory drugs are free from steroids and treat skin rash and itching caused by atopic dermatitis effectively. Pimecrolimus (Elidel) and tacrolimus (Protopic) are the two prescription TCIs available in the market today that are used for the short-term treatment of patients who aren’t responding to other atopic dermatitis treatments.
  • Injectable anti-Inflammatory medication
    For treating atopic dermatitis, injectable anti-inflammatory medication has also surfaced. Dupixent (dupilumab) is the first such medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It can treat adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis and on whom topical treatments have not worked.
  • Oral medications
    Last but surely not the least, oral medications also play an integral role in enabling people to deal with atopic dermatitis. For example, you can take oral corticosteroids for treating your severe and resistant AD, cyclosporine for the severe AD, and antibiotics for a bacterial skin infection.

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