To treat dermatitis at home, Mayo Clinic recommends taking steps to calm the affected areas, such as taking cool baths with baking soda or oatmeal, applying a cool compress, wearing cotton clothing and switching to laundry detergents formulated for sensitive skin. Many companies also manufacture over-the-counter medications that contain ingredients such as hydrocortisone, benzocaine and calamine lotion to relieve the itch associated with dermatitis.
Mayo Clinic also suggests protecting the hands at night by wearing gloves or cutting fingernails to avoid scratching dermatitis spots at night during sleep. Over-the-counter oral antihistamine medications, such as Benadryl, may also help reduce the level of itchiness. Applying rice bran broth to the affected areas is known to combat itching, and some young patients under the age of 13 see improvement in their symptoms when they take Lactobacillus probiotic supplements.
According to Mayo Clinic, patients who come in contact with poison ivy and develop contact dermatitis as a result may benefit from applying bovine cartilage topically. When home and alternative remedies do not work, patients have the option to meet with a practitioner to discuss professional treatments, such as controlled light therapy. To prevent dermatitis, Mayo Clinic recommends that people prevent dry skin by avoiding bathing daily when possible and take steps to keep the skin moisturized.