The Benefits of Having an Action Plan

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 personalized document created with your healthcare team. The plan outlines your doctor’s instructions for how to manage your atopic dermatitis, from basic skin care 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. At the completion of this activity, you’ll have the opportunity to download an action plan that you can take to your next appointment and complete with your doctor.

Emotional support matters too.

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.

Consider the resources.

Here are some suggested strategies to help you address the emotional impact of atopic dermatitis. Once you've reviewed them, download the Atopic Dermatitis Action Plan. The coping strategies are already included, but you will need to work with your doctor to complete the rest of the action plan. Select a symptom severity below.

Coping Suggestions

Try mindful breathing to help you cope with worrying about future flares

Take time to be mindful of the world around you

Focus on developing healthy habits, like maintaining your skin-care routine

Even without a visible rash, the inflammation still exists beneath the surface. It's important to maintain your daily skin-care routine. Consider talking with your doctor about the effect atopic dermatitis has on your life, even when you aren’t having a flare.

Coping Suggestions

Practice guided meditation exercises to help you cope with discomfort

Watch videos to distract your mind from the pain and itch

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.

Coping Suggestions

Learn about techniques to get better sleep, like cutting out your afternoon coffee

Focus on self-compassion to combat negative thoughts

Develop distraction techniques to help you resist scratching

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.

Discover Coping Strategies

Do these quotes sound like you? Select each box to find out more about ways you can help manage atopic dermatitis.

  • Eventually, my skin will literally split, sometimes with blood. It's so dry that is feels like there's a shell on my skin.”* Rene, 42

    Atopic dermatitis is an immunological disease that is often mistakenly thought of as just a skin condition. But understanding the underlying inflammation that causes flare-ups can help you cope.

    See the Science
  • One of the reasons I stopped playing soccer was because of eczema. I couldn't get it under control.”* Sarah, 29

    Atopic dermatitis can affect more than your physical health—it can also affect your emotional health. Learn how to combat atopic dermatitis by focusing on your emotional wellness.

    Find out more
  • It's being in constant pain or discomfort all the time. And it feels like, after a while, that there's nothing I can do about it.”* Rene, 42

    Keeping an open dialogue with your doctor and connecting with other people who suffer from atopic dermatitis can help you learn about new innovations that may help.

    Join the community

*Individual experiences may vary.