Atopic dermatitis

What is atopic dermatitis?

 

Atopic dermatitis, sometimes referred to as “skin asthma” or eczema, is a rash that is red and itchy. This rash appears most often in children and adults who are allergic. The rash is mostly extremely itchy, red, scaly and dry. It is most common for symptoms to begin before the age of 5.

 

How does it look in children?

In babies, the rash most commonly appears on the cheeks, the front side of hands and legs and on the scalp. In older children, the rash can appear on their neck and around the folds of the elbows and knees. In adults, there is usually involvement of the face and forearms.

 

How is it diagnosed?

There is no specific test to diagnose the issue. Your doctor will decide if this is the case by examining the rash. More often than not there is a medical history of allergic reactions, for example, rhinitis, allergic eye infection, asthma or food allergy.

 

What’s the treatment?

It is true that there are different medications and creams, but there are a few simple things you can do to significantly reduce the rash beforehand:

Try to avoid climates that dry the skin. Keep the skin moisturized -  there are many remedies you can buy in the pharmacy that don’t require a prescription.

Avoid soaps and shampoo that aren’t suitable for sensitive skin.

Avoid high temperature and sweat that can make cause a flare-up of symptoms.

Avoid synthetic clothing such as polyester.

Stress, in general, is bad for everyone - and has a negative effect on atopic dermatitis as well!

What if that’s not enough?

If you tried different moisturizing creams and you’ve followed all the other recommendations and there are still serious skin symptoms your doctor might recommend a steroid cream. These creams can help with redness and ease the itchiness. They should not be used on a regular basis! Your doctor might provide oral antihistamines, oral steroids or other treatments that affect the immune system.

Sometimes, since the skin is inflamed and not functioning as it should, it might get infected. If there is a secondary infection sometimes antibiotics might be given.

 

Can it be avoided?

Atopic dermatitis is commonly presented in children to parents or siblings who suffer from the same cause. Moisturizing the skin and following cautionary recommendations we’ve provided can help prevent some of the symptoms.

 

Will it pass?

The rash usually comes and goes. In many children who suffer from atopic dermatitis, the rash eventually disappears entirely when the child grows up and never returns.

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