Proactive Prevention: Bathtime Tips
While there may not be a known cure for atopic dermatitis, there are many preventative measures that can be taken to decrease the frequency and quantity of flare-ups.
Eczema bath tips
Bathtime procedures can be particularly terrible triggers or great preventative measures for AD. Here are a few that I have discovered along the way to help caregivers and people with atopic dermatitis. Keep in mind, one size does not fit all and what works for children might not work for adults and vice versa. It is best to involve your doctor or dermatologist before making decisions or changes that will impact you or your child's atopic dermatitis.
- Length: For infants with atopic dermatitis, baths should be about five-ten minutes maximum. For children or adults with atopic dermatitis, baths should be short and quick, no more than fifteen minutes, if possible.
- Temperature: Baths should be given (or taken) in warm water, not too hot, and not too cold. It is very important not to use hot water as hot water may strip the natural oil on the skin.
- Product do's and don'ts:Soaps should be gentle without perfumes and fragrances and only used when needed. Bubble bath and bath bombs should not be used. Fragrances and harsh products can cause irritation for the skin. Minimizing the use of products in the bathtub is least irritating for the skin.
- Cleansing: Do not use a harsh or rough washcloth or loofah. Do not scrub the skin. Using harsh materials or scrubbing the skin can cause irritation.
Before trying any of the following or any other products, I would suggest speaking with your doctor or dermatologist.
- Epsom salt, especially milk and honey. Epsom salt has proven to be very beneficial for my daughter's atopic dermatitis prevention and treatment.
- Aveeno has also been extremely helpful for her atopic dermatitis.
- Oatmeal baths are another option for treatment of AD. Soaking in baking soda baths and bleach baths are other suggestions I have received for active eczema flares. However, I have not tried either yet.
- Whatever products you choose should be water-based without solvents or alcohol, which may dry skin out and cause more irritation.
- You should be sure to rinse your skin as thoroughly as possible, making sure there is no residue remaining.
- Once bathtime is complete, use a towel that has been washed with a fragrance free, gentle clothes washing detergent, make sure that towel (and all other clothing) is rinsed thoroughly in an adequate quantity of water.
- Softer towels that are gentler on the skin cause the least irritation. For my child I had to get the more plush, thick soft towels rather than the thinner towels because they were rougher on her skin.
- You should always pat dry after bathtime, rather than wiping. Patting dry is gentler and less irritating for the skin. Leaving skin just a tad bit damp before applying moisturizers or creams may be beneficial as well.
- Apply moisturizers or creams and after bath products immediately following bathtime to prevent the skin from becoming too dry.
Develop a daily bath routine that works best for you or your child and keep it consistent.
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?