Allergic Dermatitis Treatment
A person with allergic dermatitis must learn how to avoid substances that trigger the illness. Treatment for allergic dermatitis usually includes skin cleansing, oral antihistamines, topical corticosteroids, and oral corticosteroids. In most cases, the symptoms of allergic dermatitis improve greatly over 2-3 days of therapy. Depending on the severity of the reaction, allergic dermatitis may be difficult to treat. Even with treatment, symptoms may last for 2-3 weeks.
Immunotherapy or allergy shots, train the body to tolerate the substance that triggers an allergic reaction. This may help reduce the severity of the symptoms when a person is exposed to the trigger.
Treatment for allergic dermatitis may include:
- Gentle skin cleansing
- Skin moisturizing:
- 5-minute lukewarm baths followed by the application of a moisturizer, such as white petrolatum
- Oral antihistamines:
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
- Fexofenadine (Allegra)
- Loratadine (Claritin)
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
- Desloratadine (Clarinex)
- Topical corticosteroids: ointments are preferred over creams in dry climates:
- Oral corticosteroids:
- Oatmeal baths:
- Immunomodulators: reserved for more severe conditions:
- Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
- Methotrexate (Folex PFS, Rheumatrex)
- Tacrolimus (Protopic) ointment 0.03% or 0.1%
- UV-A, UV-B, a combination of both
For more information:
Allergic Dermatitis Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of allergic dermatitis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- Do I need to change my diet?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for allergies?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Allergic Dermatitis Specialist
Continue to Allergic Dermatitis Home Care
- Beltrani VS. Suggestions regarding a more appropriate understanding of atopic dermatitis. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Oct;5(5):413-8. 
- Bussmann C, Bockenhoff A, Henke H, Werfel T, Novak N. Does allergen-specific immunotherapy represent a therapeutic option for patients with atopic dermatitis? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Dec;118(6):1292-8. 
- Lynde C, Barber K, Claveau J, Gratton D, Ho V, Krafchik B, Langley R, Marcoux D, Murray E, Shear N. Canadian Practical Guide for the Treatment and Management of Atopic Dermatitis. J Cutan Med Surg. 2005 Jun 30. 
- Williams HC. Clinical practice. Atopic dermatitis. N Engl J Med. 2005 Jun 2;352(22):2314-24.