Fast Five Quiz: Common Rashes and Skin Irritations

William James, MD


November 19, 2021

According to guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), systemic steroids should be avoided whenever possible for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. They mainly serve as a short-term bridge therapy to other systemic therapies or for acute severe exacerbations. The AAD advocates for the use of topical corticosteroids for the management of atopic dermatitis, accounting for patient preference and age.

The AAD suggests that patients with atopic dermatitis usually benefit from lukewarm baths followed by the application of a moisturizer. Advise patients to apply an emollient (moisturizer), such as petrolatum or Aquaphor, all over the body when it is wet to seal in moisture and allow water to be absorbed through the stratum corneum. Ointments spread well on wet skin.

Topical antihistamines are not recommended in the treatment of atopic dermatitis because of the risk for absorption and contact dermatitis. The AAD also states that allergy testing in patients with atopic dermatitis without a history of allergy is not supported. Dietary interventions solely on the basis of food allergies are also not supported.

Learn more about the treatment of atopic dermatitis.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.