My Care Path
Taking an active role in the management of atopic dermatitis and developing a partnership with your doctor can help you make better decisions for your care together.
Good communication with your doctor is one of the most important ways you can take an active role in managing your atopic dermatitis.13
Remember, your doctor is an expert on medical care, and you are the expert on yourself. By sharing your unique experience, you and your doctor can work together to make the best decisions for your care. You’ll feel more in control of your atopic dermatitis, plus good communication can actually have a positive effect on your health.13,20
This activity is designed to help you start thinking about things you may want to discuss with your doctor. Each of the following topics includes suggested information to share with your doctor and examples of questions you may want to ask. Explore each topic to get a better idea of what you may want to discuss at your next appointment.
Being well-informed, understanding the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and their possible causes, and developing a partnership with your healthcare team all contribute to improving your overall quality of life.9
Some of the effects of atopic dermatitis may impact other areas of your life such as sleeplessness and itch.
Atopic dermatitis has a high impact on your quality of life.
Another important part of self-managing your atopic dermatitis is understanding what to do, and when to do it.
That’s why having an action plan can be helpful. An action plan is a personalised document created with your healthcare team. The plan outlines your doctor’s instructions for how to manage your atopic dermatitis, from basic skincare to how to respond to flares. Having a written plan can give you confidence that you’re following your doctor’s instructions and are prepared to respond to any changes in your condition.
Atopic dermatitis can have a significant effect on your quality of life. Although action plans traditionally focus on your medical treatment alone, incorporating emotional support into your plan may help you better cope with the stress of living with a chronic disease. Because your needs may change based on how things are going, having a variety of options to choose from can be helpful.
In the activity that follows, select the different stages of atopic dermatitis to reveal strategies that may help you incorporate emotional support into your atopic dermatitis management routine.
Here are some suggested strategies to help you address the emotional impact of atopic dermatitis. Select a symptom severity below.
When symptoms are..
Try mindful breathing to help you cope with worrying about future flares23
Take time to be mindful of the world around you23
Focus on developing healthy habits, like maintaining your skin-care routine
Even without a visible rash, the inflammation still exists beneath the surface.5 It’s important to maintain your daily skin-care routine.1 Consider talking with your doctor about the effect atopic dermatitis has on your life, even when you aren’t having a flare.
Practice guided meditation exercises to help you cope with discomfort23
Watch videos to distract your mind from the pain and itch24
Use distraction techniques like rubbing a worry stone or read a book
At the first visible sign of a flare-up, try to focus on ways to minimize the extent of the flare. This may be a good time to focus on managing stress, which can also trigger flares.
Learn about techniques to get better sleep, like cutting out your afternoon coffee
Focus on self-compassion to combat negative thoughts.16,17
Develop different distraction techniques to help you resist scratching24
When your symptoms are severe, the primary focus is finding relief. A serious flare can be incredibly disruptive to your life, so remember to be kind to yourself.