Skin hydration and topical therapies are the mainstays of treatment. Bathing with tepid water and locking in moisture with emollients such as Aquaphor is very helpful. Vanicream has been very helpful in some patients. Patients are encouraged to prevent scratching by trimming nails and possibly wearing gloves or socks during sleep.
Topical steroids such as triamcinolone cream are very important. Topical immunosuppressants such as Protopic and Elidel can be helpful in children over two. Although some safety issues have been raised with these products for younger ages, we may use them on occasion with parental consent.
Antibiotics for staph infections have proven helpful. Antihistamines are also extremely helpful.
For allergies, immunotherapy, specifically sublingual therapy or drops, can be helpful in select cases. There is also substantial evidence to suggest eliminating allergy triggers from nursing mothers.
Our companion site, Sinus & Allergy Center of the Midwest, provides more information on immunotherapy.