Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Atopic Dermatitis: Taking Care of Your Skin

Atopic Dermatitis: Taking Care of Your Skin

Overview

Atopic dermatitis (also called eczema) is a skin problem that causes intense itching and a red, raised rash. In severe cases, the rash develops clear fluid-filled blisters. The rash is not contagious. You can't catch it from others. People with this condition seem to have very sensitive immune systems that are likely to react to things that cause allergies. The immune system is the body's way of fighting infection.

There is no cure for atopic dermatitis. But you may be able to control it with care at home.

How do you take care of your skin?

How do you take care of your skin?

Keep your skin hydrated

Gentle skin care can help improve your skin. Regular use of moisturizers can reduce the itching, keep your rash from getting worse, and help it heal. Also, using enough moisturizer may mean that you'll need less medicine.

Here are some tips for keeping your skin hydrated.

  • Find a moisturizer that you like to use.

    Apply it at least twice a day. Thicker creams or ointments, like petroleum jelly, work better than thinner lotions. Moisturizers include Aquaphor, Eucerin, or Purpose. Or you may want to try a skin barrier repair moisturizer, such as CeraVe or TriCeram, that can help with burning, itching, and redness. For severe dryness, try petroleum jelly.

  • Take a shower or bath once a day.

    Use warm water and a mild soap or a cleanser that doesn't contain soap. Afterwards, gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel. While your skin is still moist or even wet, apply moisturizer right away.

    • If you have crusts on your skin, soaking in a warm water bath for 5 to 10 minutes may help. Gently pat your skin dry, and apply moisturizer right away.
    • If your rash is very red and itchy, soak in a warm water bath for 20 minutes. If your doctor prescribed a cream, put it on the rash as soon as you get out of the water, even before drying off. Pat the rest of your body dry and apply moisturizer.

If you still have problems with itch and rash even after you have been using moisturizers, talk to your doctor.

Avoid skin irritants

Avoiding things that irritate your skin will help your skin stay healthy. When you notice that your rash or skin is irritated, see if you can figure out what caused the problem.

Here are some tips for avoiding irritants.

  • Use mild, unscented products.

    Many soaps, lotions, perfumes, laundry detergents, and fabric softeners can irritate your skin.

  • Avoid scratchy clothing or bedding, such as wool and some acrylics.

    Cottons and soft fabrics may be more comfortable.

  • Avoid tags on clothing.

    Buy clothes without tags or remove any tags that bother your skin.

  • Wash new clothing before you wear it.

    Dyes and fabric finishes on new clothes can irritate your skin.

  • Keep your indoor temperature and humidity levels comfortable.

    Sudden changes of temperature can irritate your skin.

  • Choose loose clothing and bedding fabrics that air can flow through easily.

    Excessive sweating can irritate your skin.

  • Avoid exercising in the heat of the day.

    Look for ways to be active indoors, or exercise outdoors when it's not so hot (such as in the early morning).

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details