6. June 2016
How can I use diet and lifestyle to improve atopic dermatitis?

The treatment of atopic dermatitis requires patience and a combination of different therapies. The progression of the disease and the effective therapies are highly individual. However, many patients with atopic dermatitis patients fail to receive a thorough diagnosis and end up settling for general recommendations.

Atopic dermatitis and diet

It is important to eat a diet that is healthy, balanced and adapted to your specific needs. From a scientific perspective, there is no ‘atopic dermatitis diet’ that applies across the board. There is also no scientific proof that completely eliminating sugar is an effective therapeutic measure. What may have helped your friends is not necessarily good for you. Make sure your meal plan is varied and balanced. Eat what you like and what makes you feel well.

If your atopic dermatitis is influenced by an allergy, you should avoid the substances that trigger it. To find out what your body is allergic to, you need to go through a diagnostic procedure with your doctor or allergy specialist. It is not recommended that you impose strict dietary limitations on yourself ‘just in case’ because food provides you with essential nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy. Not all substances that can trigger an allergy will necessarily worsen the condition of your skin.

Here are some helpful tips for cooking and eating:

  • Use fresh, unprocessed foods as much as possible.
  • Keep a food journal for a few weeks to see which foods cause a skin reaction. Share your observations with your allergy specialist or nutritionist.
  • Speak to your doctor before excluding any foods from your diet.

Atopic Dermatitis and Skin Care

You should moisturise your skin regularly in order to reinforce your skin’s healthy protective function. To find out which additional measures are necessary and when, the so-called traffic light system is used to determine the treatment for atopic dermatitis. This is a therapeutic model that helps you choose the appropriate type of therapy:

  1. No redness of the skin
  2. Most important basic therapy: regular application of lipid and urea-based moisturizers
  3. Redness and itchiness
  4. Treatment with topical immune modulators or cortisone preparations
  5. Increasing redness and itchiness
  6. Short-term use of local cortisone preparations.

The following tips will also help protect your skin:

  • Do not take hot showers and baths
  • Wear loosely fitting clothes made of cotton or synthetic materials.
  • Us a pH neutral shower gel and lukewarm water.
  • Short-term use of black tea bags or a short bath with a packet of baking powder help reduce itching.
  • Do some relaxation exercises.

You can find a list of well-tolerated skin care products certified with the ECARF Seal in our product database.