What bathing regimen is recommended for the treatment of nummular dermatitis?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Jami L Miller, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Lukewarm or cool baths or showers reduce itching and help rehydrate the skin, as long as soap is not used and moisturizers are applied to wet skin. Patients should be instructed to bathe 1-2 times a day at least, followed by the application of moisturizers or medicated topical preparations, without drying off, to seal the water in the skin. The "soak-and-smear" therapeutic regimen includes a 20-minute plain water soak each night followed by application of steroid ointment or petrolatum to wet skin and includes alteration of cleansing habits so that soap is applied only to the axilla and groin. One study showed greater than 90% response in 27 of 28 patients with refractory chronic pruritic eruptions when the regimen was followed as directed. [29]

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