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Dermatitis-prone Skin Care Tips

In the medical field, the term dermatitis is often used to refer to any inflammation or swelling of the skin and is sometimes used interchangeably with the term “eczema”. This skin condition is usually characterized by unbearable itching. For those afflicted with dermatitis, scratching serves as the main and perhaps the only, source of relief. It is said that the itching only gets much worse as the condition progresses that you cannot help but scratch the affected areas even more.

However, scratching only tends to worsen the condition. While it may bring temporary relief, it may also irritate your skin and lead to the formation of tiny oozing bumps. And it does not end there. As long as you are afflicted with the condition, your skin will continue to itch and you may also continue to resort to scratching. This invariably leads to infection.

To treat this kind of skin problem, you need to know what is causing it. Most of the time however, a person afflicted with dermatitis doesn’t even know what is setting it off! But no matter what might be triggering the condition, there are some general strategies that can bring you the much-needed relief from all the itching. Follow these suggestions to save your skin and your sanity, as well!

1. Cool it down! Cold compresses offer great relief from the itch and actually help in drying up the rash. To make a good compress, fold a handkerchief or a piece of bed linen up to eight layers thick and dip it in cool water or in Burrow’s solution. Put the cloth on the rash for 10-15 minutes every hour. Another great alternative is to use whole milk compresses. It is medically proven that the protein in milk does wonders in relieving the itch.

2. Calamine lotion, anyone? While applying calamine lotion is not very elegant (it shows on the skin!), this time-tested remedy can effectively fend off the itch. For best results, apply it thinly on affected areas 2-3 times a day.

3. Try hydrocortisone cream. Using hydrocortisone cream may be effective in treating allergic dermatitis than in irritant dermatitis.

4. Take an oral antihistamine. While over-the-counter antihistamines may cause some drowsiness, they can definitely provide you some relief from the itching. Just be cautious when you take antihistamines during the day if they make you drowsy.

5. Seek relief with oatmeal. The next time you take a bath, try adding a little oatmeal to your bath water. For best results, use colloidal oatmeal since it dissolves better. Or you can also try adding baking soda (dissolved in 1 cup warm water) to your bath for a more soothing bath experience.