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7 Atopic Dermatitis Misconceptions

As a first time mom of an infant with atopic dermatitis (AD) my original plan of action was always to go to other moms and dads of children with atopic dermatitis or other moms and dads in general for advice. In my mind, they are the veterans at this, they must have some great ideas and opinions in mind. Over the course of the last year and three months I have been advocating, treating, and caring for my daughter's atopic dermatitis. I have learned a great deal from her doctors and other people and in that time I have come to find that many parents have many varied opinions and theories, treatment suggestions and preventative methods. Being in mommy groups and just talking to other parents has taught me a lot and likewise exposed me to a lot of differing views and suggestions.

I have also discovered that many, many parents have misconceptions about caring for a child with atopic dermatitis. Here are a few of the misconceptions I have discovered in my time as a mom thus far.

There is a cure for AD

There is no known cure for atopic dermatitis. There are treatments and preventative measures that can be taken such as prescribed ointments and creams, as well as over-the-counter ointments and creams, moisturizing and avoiding irritants but there is no cure that will permanently eliminate it completely.

AD is contagious

Atopic dermatitis is not contagious you cannot and will not "catch" it from coming in contact with it and it does not spread when an area of the skin that is flared comes in contact with an area that is not flared.

AD affects everyone the same and therefore treatment is the same for everyone)

Atopic dermatitis can be different for everyone. There are several different types of eczema. Treatment may also be different for everyone. Treatment will differ based on patient and their needs and the effect of treatment is different from one person to another.

AD is the only kind of eczema there is

Atopic Dermatitis is one type of eczema. There are several different types of eczema. Each type of eczema has different irritants and different types of flare-ups.

AD is "just" dry skin so lotion will fix it

Lotion, especially lotion with perfumes can actually do more harm than good and be an irritant rather than a treatment. Atopic dermatitis requires the use of moisturizers or creams and ointments designed specifically to treat or help with atopic dermatitis.

Taking lengthy baths each day can help with flare-ups

While baths may help relieve skin of irritants that may have contributed to or caused flare-ups, lengthy baths may actually do more harm than good and cause irritation rather than treat it.

Minimizing baths can help prevent AD

Although baths may dry the skin, short daily baths are still essential to health and relieving skin of dirt and potential irritants. Short baths in warm water are best before applying an atopic dermatitis cream or moisturizer.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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