Atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema) is the most common form of eczema, a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked.
Atopic dermatitis often found in children, But you can have it at any age.
The rashes tends to flare, go away, and then comes back again.
Atopic dermatitis normally appears on the cheeks, arms and legs, but can be seen anywhere on the body.
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:
Dry, scaly skin
Cracks behind the ears
A rash on the cheeks, arms and/or legs
Open, crusted or “weepy” sores (usually during flares)
If the skin becomes infected, it may form a yellow crust or a small pus-filled bumps. The skin becomes thicker from scratching and rubbing.
Causes of atopic dermatitis:
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, but it’s clear it is not due to one single thing. Atopic dermatitis often occurs in people who get allergies i.e, “atopic” means sensitivity to allergens.
It can run in families, and often develops in association with other conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.
Atopic dermatitis isn’t contagious. That means you can’t catch it from or give it to someone else.
Triggers for atopic dermatitis:
Triggers can vary from person to person, some of the most common atopic dermatitis triggers includes:
Chemical irritants :products in everyday use (hand and dish soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, bubble bath and body wash, or surface cleaners and disinfectants) that can cause your skin to burn and itch, or become dry and red
stress: can cause a person’s atopic dermatitis to flare or even worsen
Hot or cold temperatures and sweating can lead to itchy skin or “prickly heat” symptoms from the heat and/or sweating and very dry skin can develop during the cold winter months
Allergens in the environment like seasonal pollen, dust mites, pet dander and mold
Hormones : flares may happen, especially in women, when certain hormones in the body increase or decrease
Treatment of atopic dermatitis:
Treatment for atopic dermatitis can help to relieve the symptoms and many cases improve over time.
Many different treatments can be used to control symptoms and manage eczema, including:
self care techniques, such as avoiding scratching and triggers
emollients (moisturising treatments) – used on a daily basis for dry skin
topical corticosteroids – reduce swelling, redness and itching during flare-ups
Antihistamines to control itching, especially at night
Antibiotics if you have an infection
- Moisturize your skin at least twice a day.
Creams, ointments and lotions seal in moisture.
Choose a product or products that will work well for you. Using petroleum jelly may help prevent development of atopic dermatitis.
- Try to identify and avoid triggers that worsen the condition, keep a food diary to try to determine whether a specific food makes your symptoms worse. Allergy tests aren’t usually needed, however they’re sometimes helpful in identifying whether a food allergy may be triggering symptoms.
- Things that can worsen include sweat, stress, obesity, soaps, detergents, dust and pollen. Reduce your exposure to your triggers.
Infants and children may experience flares from eating certain foods, including eggs, milk, soy and wheat.
- Take shorter baths or showers. Limit your baths to 10 to 15 minutes. And use warm, rather than hot, water.
Use only gentle soaps. Choose mild soaps. Deodorant soaps and antibacterial soaps in turn can remove more natural oils and dry your skin.
Dry yourself carefully. After bathing gently pat your skin dry with a smooth soft towel and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
- Avoid scratching and rubbing.
- Dress in soft, breathable clothing and also by avoiding itchy fabrics like wool.
……………………………………………Dr. Krishna Priya