Atopic Dermatitis Across Your Body

Atopic Dermatitis Across Your Body

The treatment for this common form of eczema can vary depending on where it appears on your body

Created With Support

Medically reviewed by Dr. Elizabeth Liotta

What is atopic dermatitis? 

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common type of eczema and can affect any part of the body. 

Different body zones should get different types of care.

Did you know? 

AD causes inflammation inside and outside the body. Even when skin is clear, the inflammation is still under your skin. 

Symptoms of AD

Hives (red, swollen, itchy bumps) 

Rashes

Burning or itchy skin 

Broken skin caused from scratching or dry skin

Identifying AD

Eczema looks different on different skin types and tones and sometimes can be mistaken for dry skin. 

Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any pain, itchiness, irritation or skin changes and any products that might be affecting your skin.

Itch-Scratch-Itch

The “itch-scratch cycle” is when itching leads to scratching, which leads to more inflammation, which leads to more itching. 

Tip: 

Fragrances, dyes or alcohols are common triggers for AD. Try to avoid them in your everyday products and clothing.

Treatment options

There’s no cure for eczema, but learning triggers and finding treatment options that work for you can help.

General treatment options include: 

  • Creams and ointments 

  • Biologic medication 

  • Oral or injectable corticosteroids

  • Topical antibiotics

  • Light therapy

  • Antihistamines 

  • Fragrance-free moisturizers

  • Lukewarm baths with or without oatmeal, oils or baking soda

  • Bandages and wet wraps

Where is your AD? 

The location of your AD can change your treatment options. 

Body zone

Treatment options

Scalp

  • Moisturizing creams or spray oil 

  • Salicylic acid and tar preparation for severe cases

  • Topical steroids

  • Medicated shampoos

Eyelids, armpits, mouth and groin

  • Creams

  • Ointments

Face, mouth and neck

  • Topical corticosteroids 

  • Moisturizer

Elbows, ears, knees, wrists, ankles, hands and feet

  • Cortisone cream 

  • Moisturizer for hydration

Vagina (vulvar dermatoses)

  • Topical steroid creams 

  • Oral or injectable steroids

This resource was created with support from Regeneron and Sanofi Genzyme.

 

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