What is the Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis treatment San Diego.

If you have ever struggled with the itchy and inflamed skin that has come to characterized atopic dermatitis, you understand the urgency to find the best possible treatment for the skin disease. There are a couple of different treatment methods that can help lessen the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, all with varying degrees of success.

At California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute in San Diego, we are constantly trying to find new treatments for atopic dermatitis through clinical research trials. To join an atopic dermatitis trial, give us a call at (760) 203-3839. In the meantime, below are all of the most widely used treatment methods for atopic dermatitis.

Over-The-Counter Medication

The first treatment method you should try is over-the-counter atopic dermatitis medication. There is an abundance of different options that can be found at your local drug store, with three primary kinds of over-the-counter atopic dermatitis treatment.


A key to fighting atopic dermatitis is keeping your skin moist and hydrated, and there are 3 different kinds of moisturizers you can find in any drug store:

  1. Atopic dermatitis lotions provide a light moisturizer that can easily spread over the skin to provide instant relief. However, the effects of lotion wear off very quickly so you may want a different option for severe atopic dermatitis.
  2. Creams are similar to lotions, only with a higher oil content. That means creams better hydrate your skin, making it a great long-term hydrating option.
  3. Ointments are perfect for those with sensitive skin since they usually are very simple with only a few ingredients. Ointments are very heavy and can make your skin feel very greasy, so they are probably best only before bed.

Oral Antihistamines

Oral antihistamines can help to reduce the itchiness of your atopic dermatitis, and also feature a slight sedative to help you sleep at night. Most dermatologists suggest using oral antihistamines as a supplement to topical treatment.

Topical Steroids

Apply a topical steroid such as hydrocortisone or low potency corticosteroids to your skin immediately after moisturizing to immediately address an atopic dermatitis flare-up. Apply the topical steroid to your skin twice a day, but make sure to consult a dermatologist for further instructions.


Phototherapy treats atopic dermatitis with a narrow ray of ultraviolet light. Phototherapy can be hard to find and expensive, so it should only be used if nothing else works.

Prescription Medications

If you try all of the over-the-counter options and still have no atopic dermatitis relief, your dermatologist may write you a prescription for a more potent medication.

Prescription Topical Steroids

Prescription topical steroids are significantly stronger than the over-the-counter variety, providing atopic dermatitis relief. You can get a topical steroid as a cream, ointment, or lotion.

Oral Atopic Dermatitis Medications

While topical creams and lotions are the most popular way to treat atopic dermatitis, some dermatologists may recommend an oral medication.

Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors

A new anti-inflammatory drug, topical calcineurin inhibitors will only be used if you do not respond to any other treatment. The FDA is not sure how effective this drug is in treating atopic dermatitis, but it is an alternative treatment if nothing else is working.

Atopic Dermatitis Treatment in San Diego at CDCRI

California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute offers free atopic dermatitis treatment in San Diego with clinical research trials. If you join a trial, you get access to cutting-edge atopic dermatitis treatment free of cost. If you are interested in learning more about joining a clinical trial at CDCRI, visit our current studies page or give us a call at (760) 203-3839.