By Jamie Hickey, as advised 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 lots. After I was youthful and extra insecure, I wouldn’t put on brief 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 mates.

Now that I’m in my 40s, I’ve gotten previous all that. I care much less about what individuals suppose. Now, once I select what to put on, it’s based mostly on how snug it’s. My AD doesn’t actually change my temper except 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 every day life with AD.

Day by day Rituals

On a typical morning, I get up and take a cool bathe. I keep away from sizzling 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 make certain to drink a gallon of water day-after-day. I’ve discovered that if I’m dehydrated, I get dry pores and skin, which might make my eczema flare up.

After I go away the home, particularly in the summertime, I’ll take a bottle of lotion, itch cream, hydrocortisone cream, and allergy drugs 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 very adverse impact on me and my AD, so springtime can generally really feel depressing.

Therapy: Trial and Error

My AD largely reveals up behind my knees and on my arms, particularly my elbows. However previously few years, it’s began to indicate itself in my eyebrows. Warmth, stress, and spring allergy symptoms trigger it to flare greater than different occasions of the yr.


I’ve tried a number of remedies and treatments. I’ve tried medical-grade lotions, oatmeal baths, oral allergy treatment, anti-itch treatment, heat baths, and delicate soaps. I’ve even tried some late-night infomercial treatments, which by no means work.

I discovered that what works finest for me, apart from altering my weight loss program, is hydrocortisone steroid cream. It reduces the irritation, which eases the itching and permits it to heal quicker. I exploit the steroid lotions once I get a flare-up, after which I apply it twice a day for just a few days.

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

I owe lots to modifications I made to my weight loss program. After I was in my late 20s, a good friend and I made a guess to see who might lose probably the most weight. I began consuming more healthy and stopped consuming alcohol, and I observed 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 modifications have helped greater than another therapy has, particularly not consuming alcohol and consuming a whole-foods weight loss program.

(In the event you had been questioning, I did win the guess.)

I’ve additionally stopped utilizing issues that trigger flare-ups, and I’ve discovered just a few methods that make it simpler. I shaved my head years in the past as a result of it stored me cooler, and I discovered that sure kinds 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 allergy symptoms.


Getting Over the Hurdles

My largest hurdle is being disciplined relating to my weight loss program. If I’ve sooner or later the place I let myself eat greasy or processed meals, it will possibly take me weeks to get my pores and skin again to regular. I’ve turn into significantly better at staying on monitor as I’ve gotten older.

Stress is one other hurdle. It undoubtedly 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 regulate my nervousness issues. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered to all the time do what’s finest for me and my household over the rest, which makes my worries and nervousness very low.

Every single day is totally different, however it’s been a studying expertise. Now I can say I’ve discovered learn how to dwell properly with AD.

WebMD Characteristic



Jamie Hickey, Philadelphia.

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