Specialized care for atopic skin
Experiencing a tangible growth in recent decades, today atopic dermatitis affects nearly 20 % of all children and 5% of the adults. Although a method leading to a complete recovery is not yet found, people suffering from this disease can achieve substantial relief during the active phases, as well as an extension of the remission, by taking a specific and consistent care for their skin.
Usually, to curb the acute phases of atopic dermatitis, topical corticosteroids are used, which affect the immune cells and inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Along with the prescribed medications, daily application (including the periods of calm) of emollient products is needed. Emollients enhance the barrier function of the skin, thereby restrict its direct contact with irritants and prevent transepidermal water loss. At the same time, they soothe the itching, soften and suppress inflammation themselves, reducing the need for frequent use of anti-inflammatory preparations.
Bathing is another important component of the treatment plan, as it removes flakes and allergens from the surface of the skin and moisturizes it. In the implementation of this trivial process, however, one must follow certain recommendations:
- It is desirable that taking a shower lasts no more than 5 or 10 minutes, while the soothing bath-tubs prescribed in cases of severe inflammation - 20 minutes at most.
- The use of specialized washing products or such with a neutral pH and hypoallergenic formulas is imperative.
- Bathing with lukewarm water is the most sparing, and it is important that the skin is not dried completely before applying the emollient cream.
In order to alleviate the symptoms of atopic eczema you need to further eliminate irritants that come into direct contact with the skin and to avoid some other factors, worsening the condition. Most frequently these are:
- wool, silk and synthetic textiles (clothing, linen, toys);
- new clothes that look unnaturally hard, have an unpleasant odor or color the skin (due to the presence of harmful substances in the fabric);
- cosmetic products containing preservatives, flavorings, colorants and other aggressive substances;
- bleach and softeners (if their use is required, an additional rinse cycle is recommended);
- soap powders with synthetic perfumes, phosphates, enzymes and other problematic ingredients;
- cleaning detergents (their use is permitted only with protective gloves);
- cigarette smoke;
- food containing allergens (it is necessary to exclude them after a consultation with a specialist)
- stressful situations;
- activities that cause excessive sweating;
- unfavorable microclimate at home and at work.
Atopic dermatitis is a stubborn and often a stressful illness. Nevertheless, through perseverance in the therapeutic regime and with the support from the close ones, patients are able to preserve their quality of life.