Atopic dermatitis, popularly known as “eczema” is the common skin problem occurring in children. It causes reddened skin with dry scaly patches that are itchy. There is periods of flare-ups followed by remission. Treatment is available to control the symptoms, but dermatitis cannot be cured. Often, this skin disorder is long lasting.
Major signs of atopic dermatitis are itchy skin, red patches all over the body and small raised lesions that may ooze out fluids on scratching. This skin problem is marked by dry scaly skin and the itching can be moderate to severe. For some people, repeated itching may not allow them to sleep properly. Dermatitis symptoms begin in childhood (5-6 years) and may continue through adolescence or even adulthood.
Risk factors :
There are certain factors like viral or bacterial infection, dry skin, stress, changes in climate and exposure to dust and pollen that can trigger atopic dermatitis. For some people using new soaps or detergents, wearing woolen clothing, food allergy or any other allergens can cause dermatitis.
It is not clear what exactly causes atopic dermatitis. There would be some amount of moisture on your skin (if it is healthy) that helps in fighting against any infection. Certain types of autoimmune diseases, defective genes, extreme dryness in the skin, and sudden changes in climate can cause dermatitis or eczema. For many people, exposure to irritants or allergens can trigger dryness leading to dermatitis.
You are likely to develop eczema if you have family history of any allergy or eczema, if you are dealing with eczema affected people and if you are living in urban areas. Atopic dermatitis can develop in any age but is common among children and adolescence. In rare cases, atopic dermatitis can cause complications like hay fever, chronic skin problems, sleep problem and sometimes change in behavior.
Atopic dermatitis can easily be diagnosed by physical exam of your skin. No laboratory test is needed to identify it.
Very often, atopic dermatitis is chronic (long lasting) and it repeats after a period of relapse. Medications can only help in managing itching and flaking of skin but eczema cannot be cured. For many people, it may take months together for controlling the symptoms even with medications. Your doctor may recommend corticosteroid cream that is effective in controlling itching. This ointment also helps in preventing further infection of the skin.
Creams that contain calcineurin inhibitors like protopic or pimecrolimus helps in repairing the damaged skin. It is effective in reducing flare-ups. For severe cases, oral antibiotics are prescribed if dermatitis has developed due to bacterial infection. Anti itching drugs like cetrizine or Benadryl can also be used to control itching. Your doctor may give you a shot of prednisone on the affected skin to control inflammation. Wet dressings can be applied on the affected skin with topical creams that contain corticosteroids. It is very effective for controlling severe dermatitis.
Exposure to light therapy can control the itching and flaking of skin. The affected part of the body is exposed to control amounts of photo therapy or ultraviolet rays to get quick result. Children are prone to scratch the skin due to itching and hence they can be involved in any other activities or taught relaxation techniques to manage itching. To prevent atopic dermatitis for your children and infants you can take precautionary measures like identifying possible triggers and avoiding erratic temperatures. Keep the baby’s skin well lubricated to prevent dryness.
Images, Pictures, Pics and Photos of Atopic dermatitis :
Home Remedies :
- If you have mild atopic dermatitis you can use over the counter antihistamines to manage itching.
- Try taking a bleach bath with mild household bleaching agents.
- Keep your skin moisturized by applying skin care lotion or Vaseline. People who have dry skin should use them generously to prevent dermatitis.
- Applying wet dressing over the area can help in controlling itching.
- Taking oatmeal bath is effective in controlling itching.
- Do not change your perfume or soaps often and use only mild soaps.
- Use portable humidifier on your room to keep the room moisturized.