Atopic dermatitis is a
long-term skin disease. "Atopic" refers to a tendency to develop
allergy conditions. "Dermatitis" means swelling of the skin.
- Dry and itchy skin
- Rashes on the face, inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on the hands and feet.
- "Weeping" clear fluid
- Thick skin
Who Gets Atopic Dermatitis?
Types of Skin Problems
- Allergic contact eczema. The skin gets red, itchy, and weepy because it touches something that the immune system knows is foreign, like poison ivy.
- Contact eczema. The skin has redness, itching, and burning in one spot because it has touched something allergy-causing, like an acid, cleaner, or other chemical.
- Dyshidrotic eczema. The skin on the palms of hands and soles of the feet is irritated and has clear, deep blisters that itch and burn.
- Neurodermatitis. Scaly patches on the head, lower legs, wrists, or forearms are caused by a localized itch (such as an insect bite).
- Nummular eczema. The skin has coin-shaped spots of irritation. The spots can be crusted, scaling, and very itchy.
- Seborrhoea eczema. This skin has yellowish, oily, scaly patches on the scalp, face, and sometimes other parts of the body.
- Stasis dermatitis. The skin is irritated on the lower legs, most often from a blood flow problem.
Diagnosis of Atopic Dermatitis
- Learn about your symptoms
- Know when symptoms occur
- Rule out other diseases
- Look for causes of symptoms.
- Other family members with allergies
- Whether you have conditions such as hay fever or asthma
- Whether you have been around something that might bother the skin
- Sleep problems
- Foods that may lead to skin flares
- Treatments you have had for other skin problems
- Use of steroids or medicine.
Things That Make Atopic Dermatitis Worse
- Wool or manmade fibers
- Soaps and cleaners
- Some perfumes and makeup
- Substances such as chlorine, mineral oil, or solvents
- Dust or sand
- Cigarette smoke.
- Eggs, peanuts, milk, fish, soy products, and wheat
- Dust mites
- Dog or cat dander.
- Not using enough lubricants after a bath
- Low humidity in winter
- Dry year-round climate
- Long or hot baths and showers
- Going from sweating to being chilled
- Bacterial infections.
How Is Atopic Dermatitis Treated?
- General health.
- Develop a good skin care routine
- Avoid things that lead to flares
- Treat symptoms when they occur.