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  • Lifestyle and home remedies
    These self-care habits can help you manage dermatitis and feel better:

    Moisturize your skin. Routinely applying a moisturizer can help your skin.
    Use anti-inflammation and anti-itch products. Hydrocortisone cream might temporarily relieve your symptoms. Oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, may help reduce itching. These types of products are available without a prescription.
    Apply a cool wet cloth. This helps soothe your skin.
    Take a comfortably warm bath. Sprinkle your bathwater with baking soda or a finely ground oatmeal that's made for the bathtub (colloidal oatmeal). Soak for 5 to 10 minutes, pat dry and apply unscented moisturizer while your skin is still damp. A lotion of 12% ammonium lactate or 10% alpha-hydroxy acid helps with flaky, dry skin.
    Use medicated shampoos. For dandruff, use OTC shampoos containing selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, coal tar or ketoconazole.
    Take a dilute bleach bath. This may help people with severe atopic dermatitis by decreasing the bacteria on the skin. For a dilute bleach bath, add 1/2 cup (about 118 milliliters) of household bleach, not concentrated bleach, to a 40-gallon (about 151-liter) bathtub filled with warm water. Measures are for a U.S. standard-sized tub filled to the overflow drainage holes. Soak for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse off before patting dry. Do this 2 to 3 times a week.

    Many people have had success using a dilute vinegar bath rather than a bleach bath. Add 1 cup (about 236 milliliters) of vinegar to a bathtub filled with warm water.

    Avoid rubbing and scratching. Cover the itchy area with a dressing if you can't keep from scratching it. Trim your nails and wear gloves at night.
    Choose mild laundry detergent. Because your clothes, sheets and towels touch your skin, choose mild, unscented laundry products.
    Avoid known irritants or allergens. Try to identify and remove allergens and other factors in your environment that irritate your skin. Avoid rough and scratchy clothing.
    Manage your stress. Emotional stressors can cause some types of dermatitis to flare. Consider trying stress management techniques such as relaxation or biofeedback.
    Alternative medicine
    Many alternative therapies, including those listed below, have helped some people manage their dermatitis. But evidence for their effectiveness is mixed. And sometimes herbal and traditional remedies cause irritation or an allergic reaction.

    Dietary supplements, such as vitamin D and probiotics, for atopic dermatitis
    Rice bran broth (applied to the skin), for atopic dermatitis
    5% tea tree oil shampoo, for dandruff
    Aloe, for seborrheic dermatitis
    Chinese herbal therapy
    If you're considering dietary supplements or other alternative therapies, talk with your doctor about their pros and cons.

    Preparing for your appointment
    You may first bring your concerns to the attention of your family doctor. Or you may see a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions (dermatologist).

    Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.

    What you can do
    Before your appointment, list your answers to the following questions:

    What are your symptoms, and when did they start?
    Does anything seem to trigger your symptoms?
    What medications are you taking, including those you take by mouth as well as creams or ointments that you apply to your skin?
    Do you have a family history of allergies or asthma?
    What treatments have you tried so far? Has anything helped?
    What to expect from your doctor
    Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in depth. Depending on what type of dermatitis you have, your doctor may ask:

    Do your symptoms come and go, or are they fairly constant?
    How often do you shower or bathe?
    What products do you use on your skin, including soaps, lotions and cosmetics?
    What household cleaning products do you use?
    Are you exposed to any possible irritants from your job or hobbies?
    Have you been under any unusual stress or depressed lately?
    How much do your symptoms affect your quality of life, including your ability to sleep?
    By Mayo Clinic Staff
    Dermatitis care at Mayo Clinic

    Request an appointment
    Symptoms & causesDoctors & departments
    Oct. 28, 2022
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    These self-care habits can help you manage dermatitis and feel
    Lifestyle and home remedies These self-care habits can help you manage dermatitis and feel better: Moisturize your skin. Routinely applying a moisturizer can help your skin. Use anti-inflammation and anti-itch products. Hydrocortisone cream might temporarily relieve your symptoms. Oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, may help reduce itching. These types of products are available without a prescription. Apply a cool wet cloth. This helps soothe your skin. Take a comfortably warm bath. Sprinkle your bathwater with baking soda or a finely ground oatmeal that's made for the bathtub (colloidal oatmeal). Soak for 5 to 10 minutes, pat dry and apply unscented moisturizer while your skin is still damp. A lotion of 12% ammonium lactate or 10% alpha-hydroxy acid helps with flaky, dry skin. Use medicated shampoos. For dandruff, use OTC shampoos containing selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, coal tar or ketoconazole. Take a dilute bleach bath. This may help people with severe atopic dermatitis by decreasing the bacteria on the skin. For a dilute bleach bath, add 1/2 cup (about 118 milliliters) of household bleach, not concentrated bleach, to a 40-gallon (about 151-liter) bathtub filled with warm water. Measures are for a U.S. standard-sized tub filled to the overflow drainage holes. Soak for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse off before patting dry. Do this 2 to 3 times a week. Many people have had success using a dilute vinegar bath rather than a bleach bath. Add 1 cup (about 236 milliliters) of vinegar to a bathtub filled with warm water. Avoid rubbing and scratching. Cover the itchy area with a dressing if you can't keep from scratching it. Trim your nails and wear gloves at night. Choose mild laundry detergent. Because your clothes, sheets and towels touch your skin, choose mild, unscented laundry products. Avoid known irritants or allergens. Try to identify and remove allergens and other factors in your environment that irritate your skin. Avoid rough and scratchy clothing. Manage your stress. Emotional stressors can cause some types of dermatitis to flare. Consider trying stress management techniques such as relaxation or biofeedback. Alternative medicine Many alternative therapies, including those listed below, have helped some people manage their dermatitis. But evidence for their effectiveness is mixed. And sometimes herbal and traditional remedies cause irritation or an allergic reaction. Dietary supplements, such as vitamin D and probiotics, for atopic dermatitis Rice bran broth (applied to the skin), for atopic dermatitis 5% tea tree oil shampoo, for dandruff Aloe, for seborrheic dermatitis Chinese herbal therapy If you're considering dietary supplements or other alternative therapies, talk with your doctor about their pros and cons. Preparing for your appointment You may first bring your concerns to the attention of your family doctor. Or you may see a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions (dermatologist). Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor. What you can do Before your appointment, list your answers to the following questions: What are your symptoms, and when did they start? Does anything seem to trigger your symptoms? What medications are you taking, including those you take by mouth as well as creams or ointments that you apply to your skin? Do you have a family history of allergies or asthma? What treatments have you tried so far? Has anything helped? What to expect from your doctor Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in depth. Depending on what type of dermatitis you have, your doctor may ask: Do your symptoms come and go, or are they fairly constant? How often do you shower or bathe? What products do you use on your skin, including soaps, lotions and cosmetics? What household cleaning products do you use? Are you exposed to any possible irritants from your job or hobbies? Have you been under any unusual stress or depressed lately? How much do your symptoms affect your quality of life, including your ability to sleep? By Mayo Clinic Staff Dermatitis care at Mayo Clinic Request an appointment Symptoms & causesDoctors & departments Oct. 28, 2022 Advertisement Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Advertising & Sponsorship PolicyOpportunitiesAd Choices Print Share on: FacebookTwitter Show references Related Infantile eczema Stung by a Plant White patch on skin: A cause for concern? Products & Services Assortment of Skin Care Products from Mayo Clinic Store Dermatitis Symptoms & causes Diagnosis & treatment Doctors & departments Care at Mayo Clinic Advertisement Mayo Clinic Press Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic Press. Mayo Clinic on Incontinence - Mayo Clinic PressMayo Clinic on Incontinence NEW – Mayo Clinic on High Blood Pressure - Mayo Clinic PressNEW – Mayo Clinic on High Blood Pressure Mayo Clinic on Hearing and Balance - Mayo Clinic PressMayo Clinic on Hearing and Balance FREE Mayo Clinic Diet Assessment - Mayo Clinic PressFREE Mayo Clinic Diet Assessment Mayo Clinic Health Letter - FREE book - Mayo Clinic PressMayo Clinic Health Letter - FREE book CON-20166980 Patient Care & Health Information Diseases & Conditions Dermatitis Footer Navigation Links Mayo Clinic Request Appointment Contact Us About Mayo Clinic Employees Find a Job Site Map About This Site Twitter Facebook Pinterest YouTube Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a donation. Footer Tiles Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Notice of Privacy Practices Notice of Nondiscrimination A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Health information policy © 1998-2023 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Mayo Clinic Privacy Policy Mayo Clinic and our partners use technologies such as cookies to collect information from your browser to deliver relevantLifestyle and home remedies These self-care habits can help you manage dermatitis and feel
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