Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition characterized by patches of inflamed, itchy rashes, and dry skin. It causes severe itching and leaves red blotches on the skin. This atopic dermatitis disease can occur at any age, but young children are more likely than adults to develop chronic inflammation of the body however, it is also affecting around 18 million adults. Atopic dermatitis is occasionally triggered by asthma, hay fever, and food allergies. The itchy skin rash will usually flare out before it gets worse but then returns. Atopic dermatitis can cause acne and other skin disorders too.
Types Of Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
- Contact dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Nummular eczema
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis
Atopic Dermatitis can be divided into three types: infantile type, childhood-onset, and adult-onset.
Infantile Eczema (Infant eczema):
Most children with Atopic Dermatitis have the infantile type (Infant eczema). It is usually first seen as redness around the cheeks, forehead, eyelids, or diaper area of newborns, some as early as a couple of weeks following birth. The symptoms might not be itchy initially but will appear as the child gets older and their skin becomes more sensitive to allergens.
Childhood-onset usually starts between one and three years old. Although the symptoms could be almost identical to those of infant Atopic dermatitis, they are more likely to be itchy.
In adults, Atopic Dermatitis feels dry and scaly with intense itching. Sometimes the rash is bumpy and looks like Atopic Dermatitis(eczema). The signs are often around the eyes, nose, or mouth or on the hands, wrists, or lower legs of women. About 5% of adult cases are also found in children.
Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis can vary from person to person. They may be mild in some and more severe in others. Some people only have skin symptoms, while others may also experience symptoms such as hay fever or asthma.
The most common symptom of atopic dermatitis is itching. This can range from a mild itch to a severe itch that is hard to resist. The itching may be worse at night or when the person is under stress.
Most people with Atopic dermatitis will have their first atopic dermatitis symptoms before they're 5 years old. Infants may have red, crusted, scaly areas on their cheeks, scalp, or the front of their arms and legs. Children and adults usually have very itchy, red rashes on the back of the neck and knees and in elbow creases.
Other symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:
- Itchy skin
- Skin rashes
- scaly skin
Causes Of Atopic Dermatitis
The exact reason for the cause of Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is not known but it is associated with the overactive response of the body’s immune system.
Some probable causes are
- Weakened or abnormally working immune system
- inheritance from parents
- Asthama or hey fever
- Food allergy
- Dry skin or Other skin conditions such as psoriasis, bacterial and fungal skin infections, etc
- Insect bites
- Disorders of veins such as Weakened veins
- Environmental factors like very warm climate and polluted environment
- Change in genes
- Stress & depression
- Damp hands and feet
- Allergies to chemicals, metals, or certain substances
- Hairdressing, laundry, or Dry cleaning where your skin is constantly exposed to irritants (soaps, detergents, fragrances, food substances)
- Mites and bedding
Triggers of Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis can be triggered by a number of factors, and it is important for anyone with atopic dermatitis to identify their personal triggers and avoid or prevent them whenever possible.
The most common triggers include:
- Emotional or physical stress
- Poor sleep quality
- Sweat and excess saliva
- Dry Skin
- Cigarettes smoke.
- Extreme weather and climate conditions.
- Cleaning products
- Harsh soaps.
- Cosmetics and make-up
- Food items like eggs, chocolate & nuts
- Citrus fruits
- Milk and milk products
Risk Factors of Atopic Dermatitis
There are many risk factors associated with Atopic dermatitis. Some of these include:
Family history: If you have a family member with Atopic dermatitis, you're more likely to develop the condition yourself.
Age: Atopic dermatitis most often starts in infancy or childhood. But it can also occur in adulthood.
Sex: Atopic dermatitis is more common in boys than girls.
Allergies: If you have hay fever or other allergies, you're more likely to develop Atopic dermatitis.
Asthma: People with asthma are more likely to develop Atopic dermatitis.
Childhood Type Risk Factors
The following are risk factors for the childhood type of Atopic dermatitis.
- Family history.
- Chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, hay fever).
- Contact allergens (drugs, cosmetics, nickel, soap, wool, latex, and cleaning agents).
The outcome of atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis is a very common skin condition that can cause a lot of discomforts. The main outcome of atopic dermatitis is usually dry, itchy skin. Other symptoms can include redness, scaling, and blistering. There is no cure for atopic dermatitis, but there are many treatments that can help lessen the symptoms. With proper care, most people can manage their atopic dermatitis and lead a normal, healthy life.
The outcome of atopic dermatitis (AD) can vary from person to person. In some cases, the condition may clear up over time with no long-term effects. However, in other cases, atopic dermatitis may persist and lead to significant skin problems or even other health issues.
Complications of Atopic Dermatitis
Flares causing Atopic Dermatitis could cause other illnesses, e.g. asthma. These lung problems may occur in children with immune disorders which have triggered Atopic dermatitis. Neurodermatitis. Generally called lichen simplex chronicus, it begins in small patches with itchy skin that gets more prominent and thicker after the scratch. Medications are effective, although you need to resist scratching. Skin problems. The skin will get cracked by rubbing or bruising it which could be causing bacterial infections and wounds.
1. Atopic dermatitis can cause infections in the skin and lead to other problems such as infection.
2. You can get rashes on your hands that restrict daily activities such as bathing, brushing your hair, and applying lotion, and creams. If this happens, you need to take medicine and do hand exercises.
3. Atopic dermatitis can lead to sleep deprivation which will affect your mood and mental health. This is mostly due to the feeling of pain or itchiness that can disturb your sleep pattern.
4. A child with Atopic dermatitis may experience embarrassment due to skin lesions that are visible to others.
5. Atopic dermatitis can lead to stress which in turn will affect your mental health too.
6. The skin may get infected by bacteria. It is important that you take antibiotics when this happens so that the infection doesn't spread further into your body or inside of your skin.
7. Your child might experience chronic pain that may lead to social isolation and depression.
8. People who have Atopic dermatitis or hay fever are more likely to develop asthma.
9. Atopic dermatitis, in general, is associated with mental health issues such as anxiety and behavioral problems like hyperactivity and acting out.
10. Developmental Delay: Children with Atopic dermatitis may develop developmental delays due to a lack of attention from parents.
Diagnosis of Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis cannot be diagnosed with a blood test or a skin biopsy. The diagnosis is made based on the history and clinical findings of the patient.
If you have atopic dermatitis, your skin will be itchy, dry, and red. You may also have weepy, crusted lesions. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and do a physical examination.
Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist for further evaluation.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic (long-lasting) condition that can lead to skin infections. The good news is that most people with atopic dermatitis see their symptoms improve as they get older. In the meantime, there are treatments available to help relieve the symptoms and prevent skin infections. With proper treatment, people with atopic dermatitis can enjoy a good quality of life.
Exams and tests
Your doctor may be able to diagnose atopic dermatitis by looking at your skin and asking about your medical history.
If your doctor suspects that you have atopic dermatitis, he or she may recommend one or more of the following tests:
Skin biopsy. A small piece of the affected skin is removed and examined under a microscope.
Allergy testing. A skin prick test or blood test can help find out if you're allergic to something that might be triggering your atopic dermatitis.
Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist, or a skin specialist, for further evaluation and treatment.
Treatments of Atopic Dermatitis
Treatment of this complex disease of Atopic dermatitis is typically done with medication and maintaining skin health.
It can be treated by skincare routines like cleansing the skin with mild soaps and using antibacterial soaps for hand and body wash.
Keeping the skin moist by applying lotions, ointments, etc. to create skin barrier function, avoiding exposure to things that irritate the skin, and taking antihistamines for allergies or itching.
Skincare in House. It is possible to reduce prescription medication needs with a daily skincare routine. Use herbal natural over the counter medications (OTC products) like herbal lotion, and creams 2-3 times daily, and avoid steroid creams which have many side effects if used for longer durations.
Make a skin product that doesn't contain any chemicals, perfumes, colorants, or perfumes. A humidifier helps maintain a moist environment. Avoid things that may make symptoms worse. Antihistamine tablets can treat itching and allergies. Sometimes the drug is not required.
Treating atopic eczema Treatment for atopic eczema can help to relieve the symptoms and many cases improve over time. But there's currently no cure and severe eczema often has a significant impact on daily life, which may be difficult to cope with physically and mentally.
How is a skin infection treated?
Treatment depends on the cause of the infection and the severity. Some types of viral skin infections may improve on their own within days or weeks. Bacterial infections are often treated with topical antibiotics applied directly to the skin or with oral antibiotics.
How do you treat sensitive skin?
General tips for sensitive skin
- take short 5 to 10-minute showers with warm — not hot — water.
- avoid harsh astringents and exfoliants.
- use a gentle, fragrance-free soap.
- use essential oils instead of perfumes.
- use a gentle, fragrance-free laundry detergent.
- try using organic cleaning supplies.
Steroid creams or ointments: These are the most commonly used treatments for atopic dermatitis. They come in a wide range of strengths, from mild to strong. Stronger steroid creams should only be used for short periods of time, as they can thin the skin if used for too long.
Calcineurin inhibitors: These are non-steroidal creams or ointments that can be used to treat atopic dermatitis. They work by suppressing the immune system and are generally used for short periods of time.
Antihistamines: These can be taken orally or applied topically. Oral antihistamines can help to relieve itching and may also help you to sleep better. Topical antihistamines can cause side effects such as stinging and burning.
Coconut oil: This natural remedy can help to moisturize the skin and relieve symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Systemic treatments: In severe cases of atopic dermatitis, oral corticosteroids or immunosuppressants may be necessary. These treatments can have serious side effects and should only be used as a last resort.
Topical antiseptic: It helps to reduce itching, redness, and sand welling and also prevents infection.
Ultraviolet light therapy: Ultraviolet light therapy for serious skin diseases. Used along with a special medication that increases light absorption.
PUVA: This is a treatment that uses a combination of oral psoralen and ultraviolet A (UVA) light. It can be an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis.
Coal tar extract: Soothes scaling and itching skin.
Moisturizer: Hydrates and protects skin from damage.