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Atopic Dermatitis - Symptoms & Treatment


Atopic dermatitis is also known as atopic eczema or just eczema. This skin disease is a chronic skin disease that effects the irritable skin. Eczema is common in infants and young children, and may disappear before adulthood.

The meaning of the word dermatitis is inflammation of the skin. And the meaning of Atopic is a group of diseases where there is often an inherited tendency to develop other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.

Eczema may clear for years, only to reappear later--often on the hands. Atopic dermatitis is not contagious! It arises because of a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. These include skin irritants, the weather, temperature and non-specific triggers.

Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis

The symptoms of Atopic dermatitis vary from person to person and from region to region. The general symptoms includes dry, itchy skin and rashes on the face, inside the elbows and behind the knees, and on the hands and feet. Itching is the most important symptom of atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis may also affect the skin around the eyes, the eyelids, and the eyebrows and lashes. Scratching and rubbing the eye area can cause the skin to redden and swell. Scratching and rubbing in response to itching irritates the skin, increases inflammation, and actually increases itchiness. Itching is a particular problem during sleep when conscious control of scratching is lost.

Causes of Atopic Dermatitis

There are many reasons which causes Atopic Dermatitis in a person. Some are listed below:

The actual cause of Eczema is unknown. It's the result of a built-in defect of the skin cellsthat tends to run in families. This defect causes the skin to lose water and to become dry compared to normal skin. Eczema is not contagious and is not related to your general health. 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.

People with eczema have skin that is dry and easily irritated by soap, detergents, and rough wool clothing. Clothes washed or dried with liquid or sheet fabric softeners such as Cling, may also irritate the skin. Hot and cold weather often aggravates eczema.

Certain allergies may worsen eczema, but they don't cause it. These factors are influenced by the genetic make-up of the individual and with 'external' environmental factors contribute to the likelihood of developing eczema, its severity and its response to treatment. People with atopic eczema have a greater incidence of asthma and hayfever in themselves and in their families.

Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

The treatment of the Atopic Dermatitis is a lengthy process which may take months or even years to cure. Some treatment options are as follows:

Since eczema patients have a constitutional skin defect, no permanent cure is possible. However, there are very effective ways of controlling it such as Epitrex and similar treatments

  • Vaseline and cortisone compounds applied to the skin are the best medicines for controlling eczema. Most cortisone salves can be used safely for years. When large areas of the body are treated with strong cortisone preparations, periodic medical check ups are necessary. Strong cortisones shouldn't be applied to the face, armpits, groin, or rectal area.
  • Oral medications may be offered to those with severe or treatment-resistant eczema. Although these are usually effective, they have side effects and risks that make them unsuitable as first line treatment.
  • The treatment chosen by the patient and doctor depends on the pattern, severity and duration of eczema.
  • The trigger factors for eczema should be avoided as much as possible. This does not involve an exhaustive search for allergies as these only play a small role in most people..
  • When using cortisone ointments always remember to use a little and massage it in well.
Skin Diseases

Eczema
Atopic Eczema
Acanthosis Nigricans
Skin Tumor
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Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
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Pyoderma faciale
Rosacea
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Vitiligo
Granuloma faciale
Jessner's lymphocytic infiltrate
Perioral Dermatitis
Photosensitivity
Poikiloderma of Civatte
Pseudofolliculitis barbae (shaving bumps)
Psoriasis
Actinic Keratoses
Ageing skin
Angioedema
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus
Chloasma (melasma)
Dermatitis (eczema)
Dermatomyositis

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