Adults with atopic dermatitis know just how horrid it feels to have dry, scaly skin that itches and swells. Little ones are likely to be even more irritated because they don’t know how to handle their inflamed, angry skin—except by scratching till it bleeds.
Parents can’t magically take the itch away, but they can do their best to keep it at bay and avoid
The Cycle of Flares.
The Cycle of Flares is a familiar story for many households. Baby itches, begins scratching, and winds up with inflamed and possibly bleeding skin. Parents get alarmed and begin to follow a good skincare routine. This includes a gentle cleanser, effective moisturizer, and any prescribed medications. Baby’s skin recovers and is soft and smooth again. Parents feel satisfied that their baby's skin is better, and stop being consistent with the skincare routine. Since atopic dermatitis has no cure, baby's skin begins drying up, resulting in the now-familiar itching and scratching.
Avoiding this cycle isn’t difficult, but can be tedious. Consistency is the key here. Follow these healthy homecare habits to keep your child’s skin as happy as possible.
A moisturizer is essential for maintaining calm skin. It does not make the skin moist, but rather, locks moisture into the skin to keep it hydrated. It is advisable to moisturize your baby’s skin within three minutes of showering, when the skin is still plump with water. In summary, moisturizers can restore the skin’s ability to absorb, retain, and redistribute water to keep the skin hydrated.1 Moisturize often.
This can be an ice pack or just a clean washcloth soaked in cold water before being wrung out. When your child is experiencing a flare, the itch can get fiery…and very painful. The numbing cold can relieve sore skin, easing the itch temporarily. Of course, moisturizing skin is essential to hydrate it and restore the skin barrier.
A key feature of atopic dermatitis is reddened and inflamed skin. Consult your doctor to treat the inflammation. Your doctor may prescribe a topical corticosteroid (steroid cream) to reduce itching and inflammation.2 Another ingredient that has been clinically proven to treat skin inflammation is colloidal oatmeal. These oats contain antioxidants called avenanthramides, which can soothe inflamed skin and reduce itchiness.3
Atopic dermatitis flares can be triggered by different things in the environment or food. Take note of what causes your child to scratch. It can be dust mites, dander, or even the detergent you wash your child’s clothing and bedding with. Certain foods may trigger a flare for some children. These factors do not cause atopic dermatitis, but they can make it worse. Keep your child’s environment clean and take note of the food he or she eats.
Sweat is another factor that can aggravate atopic dermatitis and promote itching.4 Keep your child cool and sweat-free by dressing him or her in light, loose clothing.
Bathe your baby daily with a gentle cleanser before immediately moisturizing the skin with an appropriate, pH-friendly product can keep the skin hydrated and prevent inflammation.
Atopic dermatitis may never go away, but with a careful skincare routine, it is possible to keep skin calm and minimize angry flares.
Skin wellness begins at home. Keep your baby’s skin calm with AVEENO Baby’s Moisturizing Wash and Soothing Relief Moisture Cream, now at 40% off!