“The itch that rashes.”
Managing the symptoms at home can seem can seem daunting, but patients can take control of this condition with changes to the daily routine and a stepwise approach when symptoms worsen.
Prevention (do this every day, always):
Apply moisturizer twice a day.
- Ointment – most effective, greasy, hard to apply. Won’t burn the skin if it is scratched and dry.
- Creams – next most effective, thick.
- Lotions – least effective, easiest to apply.
Apply the maintenance steroid cream once a week as a proactive treatment to prevent flares.
Avoid drying the skin when bathing
- Shorter showers (not baths) are better.
- Use cooler water, less than 104 °F (40° C).
- Use a simple bar soap like a Dove bar. Fancy soaps have fancy chemicals.
- Soap the Face, Armpits, Groin, Feet, Hands. Other areas do not need soap unless they are soiled or very dirty.
Minor flare – use your steroid every day!
- Apply your regular steroid to all affected areas twice a day, Monday through Friday. Take a break on the weekend to ensure the steroid continues to be effective.
- Continue to use moisturizers and avoiding long hot baths.
Severe flare – time for a stronger steroid!
- Apply stronger steroid twice a day, again Monday through Friday.
- As always, keep using the moisturizer, and maintain your normal skin therapies.
- When symptoms improve you should work your way back to Prevention in steps. First treat as a Minor flare and only reduce your use of regular steroid when your symptoms are back under control.