Dermatitis Atopic Treatment
Treatment for atopic dermatitis focuses on reducing inflammation, relieving itching, and avoiding flare-ups. Although atopic dermatitis occurs in those with allergies, avoiding substances that trigger allergies does not improve atopic dermatitis. Topical treatment includes the use of corticosteroid creams and ointments. Oral medications include antihistamines, which reduce itching, and oral corticosteroids. Additional oral medication includes immunomodulators, which reduce flare-ups by suppressing the immune system. Gentle skin cleansing, moisturizing lotion and oatmeal baths may reduce itching. Light therapy involves exposing the skin to sunlight or ultraviolet lamps. Although this may improve symptoms, it subjects the skin to premature aging and increases the risk of skin cancer.
Treatment for atopic dermatitis may include:
- Gentle skin cleansing
- Skin moisturizing:
- 5-minute lukewarm baths followed by the application of a moisturizer, such as white petrolatum
- Oatmeal baths:
- 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:
- 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
Dermatitis Atopic Drugs
Medications for atopic dermatitis include:
Dermatitis Atopic Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of atopic 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?
- 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?
Dermatitis Atopic Specialist
Continue to Dermatitis Atopic Home Care
- Boguniewicz M, Eichenfield LF, Hultsch T. Current management of atopic dermatitis and interruption of the atopic march. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Dec;112(6 Suppl):S140-50. 
- Devereux G, Seaton A. Diet as a risk factor for atopy and asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Jun;115(6):1109-17. 
- Leung DY, Boguniewicz M, Howell MD, Nomura I, Hamid QA. New insights into atopic dermatitis. J Clin Invest. 2004 Mar;113(5):651-7. 
- Williams HC. Clinical practice. Atopic dermatitis. N Engl J Med. 2005 Jun 2;352(22):2314-24.