10 Facts about Atopic Dermatitis
- Atopic dermatitis is also called Eczema. This chronic dermatological condition is characterized by patches on the skin which are not only itchy but turn red, scaly and flaky with time. The expression of atopic dermatitis is different in different individuals. Commonly it is a painful condition coupled with burning and itching of skin. Initially, people don’t realize the condition. But when there is frequent itching especially after exposing to a known or unknown trigger then atopic dermatitis is suspected.
- Atopic dermatitis is commonly observed in infants. Hence called Infantile Eczema. In children aged two to four years of age this chronic skin condition occurs. Mostly it improves by the age of 5. They tend they show dry patches and rashes in the folds of the skin behind the knees, ears, on neck and elbows as well as across ankles. Repeatedly scratching and crying due to irritation indicates the possibility for it. The symptoms and place of itching and dryness in infants differs between children and adults. Hence, it is necessary to consult authentic sources for confirmation.
- The skin of patients with atopic dermatitis does not have the tendency to trap moisture. Unlike normal skin their skin dries out easily. Visible and tactile changes in skin make it quite sensitive. Even frequent exposure to water does not keep the skin hydrated. When dry skin comes in contact when allergens and stimulants the skin becomes very itchy and the symptoms begin to appear.
- The places of development of atopic eczema are different in infants, children and adults. In children, the rashes, redness and dryness occur at neck, wrists, legs, ankles, elbows, knees and between the buttocks. In adults, the symptoms appear inside of elbows, behind the knees and nape of neck. In adults the rashes might be yellowish or brown crust-like. To confirm the occurrence of atopic dermatitis it is necessary to avoid cross-checking the symptoms of an adult with an infant as they are different in each age group.
- In atopic dermatitis, there is huge urge to scratch the itching part. It provides not only satisfaction but the sufferer feels relieved. However, the satisfaction is temporary. Due to vigorous itching micro-tears are produced in the skin which leads to further itching. The itch-and-scratch cycle continues making the condition worse.
- For the patients of atopic dermatitis it is necessary to understand and evaluate the triggers. Every individual has different triggers. These triggers include soaps, shampoos, dish, soap, laundry soap, pollen, mold and pets etc. Other than these triggers, stress also plays a huge role in triggering the symptoms. Stress, other skin disorders, low or high temperatures, humid conditions, weather fluctuations and hormones etc. Some triggers even belong to diet category. These might include milk, wheat, nuts, fish and oils etc.
- The development of atopic dermatitis is linked with genetics. If any one of the parents is diagnosed with this skin condition then there is high chance for the child to develop it as well.
A very important piece of information about atopic dermatitis is that it is not contagious at all. There is no need for the patient to isolate himself from the world. Many people avoid going near people with the atopic eczema. It must be made clear that atopic dermatitis cannot be caught or passed on to someone. It does not even spread on a sufferer’s own body.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis can be managed by using topical creams and avoiding triggers. Keeping skin clean and hydrated is the only way to make it better.