Prevent and Treat Dermatitis
Dermatitis is the catch-all name from inflamed skin that can be red, itchy and swollen. In some cases there could also be oozing, crusting and scaling around the affected areas. It is one of the most common skin problems affecting millions of people. In fact, skin problems are the primary reason for most doctor visits each year. Yet, many common skin conditions like dermatitis can be easily treated and improved at home.
There are all types of dermatitis and causes for the condition. Regardless of the cause, result is often the same – dryness of the skin that causes microscopic tears, cracks and blisters that we call Dermatitis. Here’s how you can treat and heal your skin at home:
First, keep the skin moist to prevent further drying and cracking. Take a 20-minute warm bath (not hot) once a day to help boost moisture. Add a skin healing and soothing colloidal oatmeal product to the bath water. Try Aveeno Eczema Therapy Bath Treatment with Colloidal Oatmeal to relieve dry, itchy skin, eczema and other irritation. When dispersed in water, this powder forms a milky bath that soothes as it naturally cleanses without soap. After bathing, your skin is softer, smoother and relieved of the irritation associated with dry skin. Limit the use of soap which is very drying. In addition, use a non-soap cleansers such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash which are gentle formulas that combines soap-free cleansing with omega oils and other natural lipids to nourish and soothe.
Use a moisturizer – especially one that contains ceramides. The body manufacturers a type of fat called ceramides that improves the barrier of the skin (which not only protects us but helps keep moisture in the skin). A moisturizer with ceramides is the most effective ingredient for preventing and reversing dermatitis. Aveeno Eczema Therapy and CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion – their patented MVE formulation releases ceramides and other essential ingredients throughout the day, so they penetrate deep into the skin to hydrate and nourish. Learn more about Keeping Dry Skin Hydrated and protected.
Prevent dry skin that can lead to dermatitis by keeping the air in your bedroom moist at night. After all, we spend about one third of our time sleeping and so keeping the air moist will help keep skin retain its moisture and leave it conditioned for the day ahead. Steam vaporizers work well and cost less than expensive humidifiers – you can get one for as little as $15 at Target.
Increase your intake of Vitamin D which is essential for healthy skin. For those who might be Vitamin D deficient, boosting their intake of the important nutrient improves the condition of the skin, reduces inflammation and can help to minimize the signs and symptoms of dermatitis. There are some topical creams that contain vitamin D like Physician’s Formula Enriched Dry Skin Concentrate. Formulated with a vitamin complex of A, D, and E, and enriched with natural oils, emollients esters and humectants, it replenishes moisture while helping protect against moisture loss.
In severe cases, consider using an over the counter 1% hydrocortisone cream, however, this strategy should only be a temporary fix when skin is extremely itchy and scratching is hard to control. The risk of using a hydrocortisone cream is that it can thin the skin which will weaken it even more.
- Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Dermatitis. Future Medicine Publishing, Inc. 2008.
- BottomLine: Personal. Clear Skin at Last. Volume 35, Number 10.