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What are the treatment options for atopic dermatitis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

There is no cure for atopic dermatitis, but there are several treatment options that can help you manage the disease. Prescription strength corticosteroid creams or oral antihistamines (allergy medications) can be used to relieve itching. If these aren't effective your doctor might choose to prescribe a systemic corticosteroid instead. These can be taken orally or directly injected into the skin, but they are generally reserved for more severe cases. For people over the age of two, new medications known as immunomodulators can also be used to affect the immune system and help control atopic dermatitis. However, there are concerns about the effects of their long-term use and as a result they are typically used only as a last resort.

Light therapy has also shown promise in treating atopic dermatitis. When closely monitored by a doctor, exposure to controlled amounts of UV rays can help control the condition. But long-term use comes with several risks, including a higher chance of developing skin cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.