Atopic Dermatitis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition

Atopic dermatitis is a long time disease that affects the skin. It cannot be passed from one person to another. It  is very common in children but may occur at any age. It is also found in domestic dogs. Many children with atopic dermatitis have to a permanent remission of the disease when they get older, although their skin often remains dry and easily irritated.

Originally controversial, the association of food allergy with atopic dermatitis has now been clearly demonstrated, especially in severe disease of infancy.

Causes

There is no known single cause for atopic dermatitis. Probably it represents more than one condition. It is believed to be a combination of environmental and genetic factors. There may be a relationship between hay fever, asthma, and atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is not contagious. The skin cells seem to lose their barrier function so that water is lost from the skin and irritants can penetrate into it. Bacteria, yeasts and viruses on the skin surface can either cause eczema or provoke allergy.

Many workers are at an increased risk for allergic dermatitis because they are exposed to many known allergens and irritants.

Atopic dermatitis is also associated with malfunction of the body’s immune system: the system that recognizes and helps fight bacteria and viruses that invade the body.

Symptoms

Atopic dermatitis is very common. It affects males and females equally and accounts for 10 to 20 percent of all referrals to dermatologists (doctors who specialize in the care and treatment of skin diseases). Atopic dermatitis occurs most often in infants and children and its onset decreases substantially with age.

The main symptom of atopic dermatitis is itching. The itching can be start in night. The common symptoms are

  • The cheeks of infants are often the first place to be affected by eczema.
  • As the child becomes older the pattern frequently changes to involve the flexor surfaces of the same joints (the creases) with less extensor involvement. The affected skin often becomes lichenified i.e. dry and thickened from constant scratching and rubbing.

Mostly the eczema improves during school years and it may completely clear up by the teens, although the barrier function of the skin is never entirely normal.

Treatment

Treatment of atopic dermatitis is dependent mainly on reduction of itching and scratching through moisturizing the skin.

Topical steroids prescribed to reduce skin itching. Topical steroids come in four strengths: mild, moderately potent, potent, and very potent. To use these types of steroid firstly you have to go to your nearest doctor who prescribe you these medicine, depends on several factors, including the severity of the condition.

If you get a secondary infection caused by scratching, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic or antifungal medication.

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