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Managing Atopic Dermatitis

How I Manage My Symptoms

Tonya B. | Nutrition Counselor, Mother of 2

Actual Eczema Sufferer

Managing your eczema symptoms is an integral part of coping with “the itch.” I have several routines I try to stick to in order to keep my eczema flare-ups to a minimum. There are some things I change depending on the season. Although most of my triggers are still unidentified, I do have a handle on enough things to ensure I avoid them. I manage my symptoms by:

  • Avoiding strong-scented items like perfumes, potpourri, and candles in the home
  • Using only unscented laundry detergent and fabric softener
  • Changing sheets weekly and washing them in hot water, and dry them on a high-heat setting to kill dust mites
  • Using a hypoallergenic pillow and mattress cover
  • Keeping an air purifier in the bedroom
  • Moisturizing after each shower or bath
  • Drinking plenty of water each day
  • Eating foods that will nourish me the best
  • Keeping a peaceful bedtime routine
  • Getting twenty minutes of sunshine if the weather permits
  • Using gloves for cleaning and washing dishes

However, the most important thing to remember in order to avoid “the itch”: visiting my doctor. I used to have the mentality that I didn’t need to visit my dermatologist or allergist when my eczema symptoms were really bad because I thought these doctors wouldn’t have anything new to help me. After living with eczema for so long, I would default to the idea that I’ve tried everything. I thought, why bother wasting both of our time?

However, I changed my mind once I realized there was help for me. The Eczema Exposed website identified some ways I could manage conversations with my doctor, and the AD Insider helped me realize it wasn’t my fault my eczema was flaring up.

There was more going on beneath my skin than I realized, and I needed to stop taking the blame.

I have found that with each seasonal change, I need to visit my eczema specialists. It is helpful to check in to see if they have any recommendations that are pertinent to managing my symptoms through the seasons. Little things, like moisturizing more in the summertime. If I have specific items I need to talk about, I take some time to write my questions down so I have them on hand for my appointment.

I also came to the realization that my doctor wasn’t going to make me feel bad or make me feel that I wasn’t doing a good job taking care of myself. I did have that experience with a doctor once, and it was a big red flag that I needed to break up with that doctor. I have since found specialists who listen to my questions, understand my routines, and think of ways I can manage my symptoms. Don’t stop searching until you find someone who listens to your needs and helps you identify ways to truly manage your symptoms.

Caregiver and patient stories reflect personal stories. Individual experiences may vary.