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ECZEMA: ATOPIC DERMATITIS

HOME  >  TYPES OF ECZEMA  >  ATOPIC DERMATITIS


What is Atopic Dermatitis?


Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema which is chronic in form and about 90% of people who have this type of skin condition develop it before the age of 5. Since it is chronic in form, it requires daily care and intervention. It is non- contagious and the condition tends to run in families who have allergic skin conditions, asthma and also hay fever.



Signs And Symptoms


•   Atopic dermatitis appears as itchy patches of skin that develops in the scalp and face. It can also appear on the hands, feet, elbows, wrists and chest. In some rare cases, atopic dermatitis can occur in the eyelids and in the genitals.


•   The rash of atopic dermatitis is very itchy. These rashes may flare up and may form into skin blisters. These blisters become itchy and when scratched can rupture and become infected if not treated. When these blisters clear out and heal, it can become scaly, dry patches and can be reddish in colour.


•   Atopic dermatitis blisters may thicken and become leathery; this process is called “lichenification”. The affected skin thickens and protects itself from further harm and damage as a result of continuous scratching.



Who Gets?


It is estimated that 10% to 20% of the world’s population develops atopic dermatitis and about 65% of these people get this type of eczema during the first year of their life.


Atopic dermatitis may develop is most children by their second year of their life and 50% of them will suffer from hand eczema in the future. This type of eczema can occur in any type of skin and can also be present in any race.



Causes


There is no definite cause for atopic dermatitis. Skin specialists believe that it is the combination of factors that cause atopic dermatitis. It has been found out that genes, environmental factor, pre existing allergic conditions like asthma and hay fever and a compromised immune system can make a person susceptible to develop atopic dermatitis.



Treatments


There is no cure for atopic dermatitis but there are treatments that can be done to lessen the impact of the many symptoms of this skin condition:


•   Moisturizers can be used to increase skin moisture and relieve the itch and inflammation of atopic dermatitis.


•   Cold compresses are also great in relieving the itchy lesions or blisters of atopic dermatitis.


•   Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat any signs of skin infection.


•   Topical steroids are also prescribed to control skin inflammation and also to relieve itching.


•   Light therapy is one of the most current treatments available for atopic dermatitis; talk to your dermatologist about this revolutionary technique.


Your dermatologist can advice the ideal skin care treatment to manage symptoms of atopic dermatitis. He may also advice several foods to avoid and activities to do to manage skin allergies and flare ups. If you wish to use herbal remedies for your atopic dermatitis, consult your dermatologist for the ideal use and any side effects to be expected.



Prevention


Preventing atopic dermatitis from flaring up and recurring is possible if you stick to your doctor’s skin regimen and also any diet restrictions. Avoid tiring activities and stress that can flare up your skin reactions. Keep healthy and build up your immune system to fight infections and to build up your body resistance as well. Always follow your doctor’s advice especially in your prescription medication use and any skin care treatment that you need to do.