Atopic Dermatitis: Every day Life

By Jamie Hickey, as informed to Kara Mayer Robinson

I’ve had atopic dermatitis (AD) so long as I can bear in mind. The primary time a health care provider gave me a analysis was once I was 18 years previous and within the Marines.

Having AD used to have an effect on my temper so much. Once I was youthful and extra insecure, I wouldn’t put on quick sleeves if I used to be having a flare-up. I rarely wore shorts. On the pool, I wouldn’t take my shirt off. I’d even cancel plans with buddies.

Now that I’m in my 40s, I’ve gotten previous all that. I care much less about what individuals assume. Now, once I select what to put on, it’s primarily based on how comfy it’s. My AD doesn’t actually change my temper until I’m having an episode that I can’t get beneath management and the itching is nonstop.

It’s taken some trial and error, however I’ve gotten higher at managing my day by day life with AD.

Every day Rituals

On a typical morning, I get up and take a cool bathe. I keep away from scorching showers as a result of they improve irritation, which makes my AD worse. Then I moisturize my physique, focusing totally on my legs and arms.

I ensure to drink a gallon of water daily. I’ve discovered that if I’m dehydrated, I get dry pores and skin, which might make my eczema flare up.

Once I depart the home, particularly in the summertime, I’ll take a bottle of lotion, itch cream, hydrocortisone cream, and allergy capsules with me. It’s good to have them readily available in case I want them once I’m out.

I discover that my AD will get worse within the spring. Pollen has a extremely detrimental impact on me and my AD, so springtime can generally really feel depressing.

Remedy: Trial and Error

My AD principally reveals up behind my knees and on my arms, particularly my elbows. However up to now few years, it’s began to point out itself in my eyebrows. Warmth, stress, and spring allergic reactions trigger it to flare greater than different instances of the yr.


I’ve tried plenty of therapies and cures. I’ve tried medical-grade lotions, oatmeal baths, oral allergy treatment, anti-itch treatment, heat baths, and gentle soaps. I’ve even tried some late-night infomercial cures, which by no means work.

I discovered that what works finest for me, apart from altering my food plan, is hydrocortisone steroid cream. It reduces the irritation, which eases the itching and permits it to heal sooner. I exploit the steroid lotions once I get a flare-up, after which I apply it twice a day for a number of days.

Once I’m about to get a flare-up, it’ll begin to itch, after which my pores and skin will turn into purple and infected. I’ll put the steroid cream on and wait to see how dangerous it will get. If it doesn’t go away after 7 days, I’ll must see my dermatologist to get a stronger ointment.

I owe so much to adjustments I made to my food plan. Once I was in my late 20s, a good friend and I made a guess to see who may lose probably the most weight. I began consuming more healthy and stopped ingesting alcohol, and I seen that my flare-ups and on a regular basis rashes decreased. So I made the connection and by no means went again to my previous habits.

I now not drink alcohol. I don’t eat processed or greasy meals. These adjustments have helped greater than some other remedy has, particularly not ingesting alcohol and consuming a whole-foods food plan.

(If you happen to have been questioning, I did win the guess.)

I’ve additionally stopped utilizing issues that trigger flare-ups, and I’ve discovered a number of methods that make it simpler. I shaved my head years in the past as a result of it stored me cooler, and I found out that sure sorts of shampoo and conditioner would make AD flare up on my eyebrows.

Now that I do know what I’m doing, my flare-ups are much less extreme. I believe figuring out your triggers and avoiding them makes an enormous distinction. For me, it’s warmth, dehydration, greasy or processed meals, alcohol, and spring allergic reactions.


Getting Over the Hurdles

My largest hurdle is being disciplined with regards to my food plan. If I’ve sooner or later the place I let myself eat greasy or processed meals, it might probably take me weeks to get my pores and skin again to regular. I’ve turn into a lot better at staying on monitor as I’ve gotten older.

Stress is one other hurdle. It positively performs a task in my flare-ups. I’ve needed to discover ways to handle my stress and nervousness to maintain it beneath management. My physician prescribed a temper stabilizer to manage my nervousness issues. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered to at all times do what’s finest for me and my household over the rest, which makes my worries and nervousness very low.

Each day is completely different, nevertheless it’s been a studying expertise. Now I can say I’ve found out easy methods to dwell nicely with AD.

WebMD Characteristic



Jamie Hickey, Philadelphia.

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