Atopic dermatitis is commonly known as eczema which is a chronic skin problem affecting millions of people across the world. Atopic dermatitis or eczema is caused by the inflammation of the skin. It is a chronic condition which makes skin red, itchy and dry, sometimes leathery and cracked. Eczema can appear on any part of the body. It is very common problem in children but can arise at any age. Infants with eczema have a higher risk of developing certain allergic problems such as hay fever or asthma. This disorder is caused by heredity. Currently, there is no proper cure is present for Atopic dermatitis. Only self-care and treatment for relieving itching and preventing from its spreading is available.
Atopic Dermatitis Causes
The causes of Atopic dermatitis includes
- Certain irritants such as soaps, clothes, and synthetic material
- Heat and sweating
- Family history
- Food allergies
- Dry skin
- Cold, dry climates
Generally, food allergies indicate higher risk for developing Atopic dermatitis, such as allergy from peanut but are not causing Atopic dermatitis. There are some triggers that worsen or increase the possibility of developing Atopic dermatitis.
- Fabrics such as scratchy or woolen material
- Strong detergents or soaps
- Mold or pollen
- Perfumes, deodorant, skin care products and makeup products
- Animal dander
- Long time hot shower bath
- Sand or dust
- Food such as wheat, eggs, soya, dairy products, nuts
Symptoms of Atopic dermatitis is vary from person to person and include
- Itchy skin
- Dry skin
- Red-brownish patches on feet, hands, ankles, neck, wrists, eyelids, upper chest, knees, and elbows
- Small bumps filled with fluid
- Cracked, thick, scaly skin
- Sensitive, raw, swollen skin
The first sign of Atopic dermatitis is generally visible before the age of 5 in most people. Small kids may develop red, scaly, crusted patches on their scalp, cheeks, arms and legs. These patches are very itchy and also have small bumps and flaky skin. On scratching, the skin gets thick, scarred, and dark. Scratching also leads to develop any infection. It is suggested to visit doctor, when saw first sign of Atopic dermatitis as it may develop severe consequences.
Atopic Dermatitis Types
Types of Atopic dermatitis may include
- Contact Atopic Dermatitis – a localized reaction that involves itching, redness when come into a direct contact of irritating substances such as a cleaning agent, an acid, or some other chemicals
- Allergic Contact Atopic Dermatitis – is a red, weepy, itchy condition, in which the skin comes into the contact of foreign substances such as certain chemicals, and antibiotic cream or lotions.
- Seborrheic Atopic Dermatitis – it is a very common form of mild skin inflammation which causes it not known yet. In this condition, oily, yellowish, scaly patches are developed on the scalp, ears, face. It is also called as dandruff or cradle cap in infants.
- Nummular Atopic Dermatitis – isolated, round or coined shaped patches are developed on the skin
- Lichen Simplex Chronicus Atopic Dermatitis – also known as localized neurodermatitis. This condition occurred when a person rubbing, picking, scratching any particular part of the skin.
- Stasis Dermatitis – this condition is related to the circulatory problems or congestion of the leg veins that create irritation in the legs.
- Dyshidrotic Eczema or Pompholyx – in this condition, deep seated blisters are found on the hands, palms and soles of the feet.
- Xerotic Eczema – include highly dried portions of skin, often, seen into the lower legs
The main risk factor for Atopic dermatitis is a family history of Atopic dermatitis (eczema), hay fever, asthma, or allergies. The other risk factors include
- Skin infections
- Often Wet hands or exposed to harsh detergents, soaps or disinfectants
- Sleep problems
- Allergic contact dermatitis
The diagnosis of the Atopic dermatitis includes physical examination and visual checkup of the skin. The diagnosis is also based on the family history or inhalant allergies in a person. A skin biopsy is also helpful in detecting Atopic dermatitis.
Read : Alopecia Areata
Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Atopic dermatitis or eczema can be fully treated by prescribed medications like corticosteroid ointments and creams and the doctor will suggest tailor made treatment after examining the intensity of scaling. Mild eczema needs good care of skin but if it is in severe condition then medicines are required. The general treatment include
- Medicines such as hydrocortisone, antihistamines
- Corticosteroids creams and ointments
- Use of mild soap and moisturizer
- Warm and short showers
- Regular exercises
- Stress management
- Use of dry air
- Ultraviolet light therapy (Phototherapy)
- Injectable such as dupilumab
- Prescription strength moisturizers
- Immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporine
Most of the symptoms can be under control within 2-3 weeks with proper treatment. Ultraviolet light therapy in which ultraviolet A or B light waves or their combination is used. Hospitalization is rare in the case of Atopic dermatitis.
Related : Atopic Dermatitis Pictures
Atopic Dermatitis Home Remedies
Keeping the skin healthy and healed is highly important to prevent any kind of skin problem. Developing and maintaining a daily skin care routine is required to avoid skin problems. There are many home remedies available to avoid skin problems. These natural home remedies include
- Sun exposure as light therapy
- Vitamin D rich foods such as eggs, milk, salmon
- Moisturizers such as coconut oil
- Breathing and behavior therapy
- Sea salt baths
- Cool and light cotton made clothes
- Homemade itching cream such as Shea butter, raw honey, lavender essential oil
- Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods such as fish
- Vitamin E rich food
It is good to adapt a nutritious diet and balanced lifestyle to reduce the effect of Atopic dermatitis. It is also recommended to avoid hot and humid environment and always use suggested soap and moisturizer. If the condition is recognized and treated at initial level, then it will be easy to handle that properly. Some of the prevention methods include
- Use of one organic soap and one moisturizer
- Moisturize your body twice a day
- Identify the triggers and avoid using them
- Always apply an calmative after the bath
- Always keep fingernails filed and short
- Always select good cotton fabrics for wearing
- Avoid eating food that may develop allergies
- Carefully dry the body with soft towel
- Keep the affected person in a calm, soothing and cool place
- Try to keep the engage in several other activities to distract mind from eczema
It is required that the affected people can maintain a fine quality of life despite having atopic dermatitis. The foundations of an improved life are good coordination between patient, doctor and patient’s family, education and awareness about the problem and its solutions. Good communication is a key of all problems. It is important that patients receive understand about the problem and its symptoms from the doctor and doctor should ensure that recommended treatment measures are carried out effectively. However, Atopic dermatitis is an uncomfortable and difficult disease but can be managed successfully. Patients with Atopic dermatitis can live normal and healthy lives.