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Question and Answers :

Since atopic dermatitis is sometimes associated with food allergies, can the elimination of certain foods be of help?
Yes, but it is uncommon. Although certain foods will sometime provoke attacks, especially in infants and young children, elimination of foods rarely brings about a lasting improvement or cure.

Nevertheless, when all else fails, avoidance of common offending foods such as cow's milk and eggs, may be tried for a few weeks.

Are the inhaled and contacted substances in the environment important causes, and should they be eliminated ?
Yes. Dust and dust-forming objects (for example, feather pillows, kapok pillows and mattresses, dust-forming carpet, drapes, toys and certain rough garments such as wool, coarse silk) worsen the rash. Try to wet mop or vacuum floors, rather than sweep. Reduce contact with animal furs.
Are skin tests, as done in patients with hay fever or asthma, of value in finding the offending substances ?

Yes, at times. However, results can be misleading particularly when the tests are carried out by persons inexperienced with such tests.

What should be done to treat atopic dermatitis ?
See your dermatologist. Try to relieve itching by eliminating these aggravating factors:

Rapid changes of temperatures, strenuous exercise and hot weather.
Rough, tight & woollen clothing.
Frequent use of soaps, bubble bath, hot water, and other cleansing procedures that tend to remove natural oil from the skin. Use mild detergents for your clothes and rinse the clothes thoroughly during washing.
Emotional upsets.

Are there any other problems ? 

Bacterial infection (pus) and viral infection (eg. herpes simplex) can occur. Antibiotics and antiviral treatment are needed. 

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