What is atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as atopic eczema, is a chronic type of skin inflammation that causes itching, redness, swelling, and cracking. The clear fluid can come from the affected areas, which often thickens over time. When this condition occurs at any age, it usually begins in childhood, with varying severity over the years.
In children under one year of age, most of the body is affected. As children get older, the inner parts of the knees and elbows are most affected. In adults, the arms and legs are the most affected. Scratching the affected areas exacerbates symptoms and increases the risk of skin diseases in those affected. Most people with atopic dermatitis develop hay fever or asthma.
The cause is unknown but it is believed to be caused by genetics, immune system dysfunction, environmental exposure, and skin permeability. If a similar couple is affected, there is an 85% chance that someone else is affected as well. Those who live are most affected by cities and dry weather.
Exposure to certain chemicals or frequent hand washing can make symptoms worse. Emotional stress can make symptoms worse, which is not a cause. The disorder is not contagious. The diagnosis is generally based on signs and symptoms. Other diseases that must be ruled out before making a diagnosis include contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis
The signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis vary from person to person and include:
- Red to brownish-grey spots, especially on the arms, legs, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, elbows, and knees, and in infants, face and skin.
- Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching.
- Small, enlarged lumps, which may leak fluid and form scabs when scratched.
- Dry skin
- Thickened, cracked, scaly skin.
- Itching is a big factor in atopic dermatitis because scratching and rubbing can worsen the inflammation of the skin which is a symptom of the disease.
- People with atopic dermatitis appear to be more sensitive to itching and may feel the need to scratch longer in response.
- Excessive itching of the skin can cause a person to scratch, which can make the itching worse. Itching is especially a problem during sleep when conscious control of scratching is reduced and the absence of other external stimuli makes the itch more noticeable.
- Itching is a symptom of the disease.
Atopic dermatitis most often begins before the age of 5 and continues through adolescence and adolescence. For some, it burns periodically, then goes away for many years.
Causes of atopic dermatitis
Doctors do not know the cause of eczema. It seems to run in families, so if you have one of your parents or siblings, chances are you or your child has it too. Children who suffer from it sometimes have family allergies, hay fever, or asthma. Some experts believe that eczema is more likely to occur. Half of the children who suffer from it also suffer from hay fever or asthma.
Living in a place that is often cold or very polluted also increases the chances of getting it. Food allergies do not cause atopic dermatitis. Having atopic dermatitis increases your risk of food allergies, such as peanuts. Atopic dermatitis is not an infection. You cannot keep it or give it to someone else.
You need to know what triggers your AD fires, but general lifestyle and environmental triggers:
- Long, hot showers or baths.
- Soaps, detergents, and cleaners.
- Dirt, sand, smoke.
- Cold or dry weather.
- Wool and synthetic fabrics.
- Pollen, dander, dust.
- Strenuous exercise
Eczema affects an estimated 31 million people and 17.8 million people with AD. Statistics from the National Eczema Association (NEA) show how common AD and eczema are. The prevalence of juvenile AD is 10.7 per cent in the united states. One in three children with AD will have a moderate and severe form. For adults, the prevalence is 10.2% higher.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), 90% of people with Alzheimer’s disease get it before they are 5 years old. Anyone with AD will be diagnosed if not someone in childhood.AD appears to have a genetic component. People with AD often have relatives with AD, allergies, or asthma.
Diagnosis of atopic dermatitis
To diagnose atopic dermatitis (AD), a certified dermatologist will carefully examine your (your child’s) skin and ask questions. To make sure your dermatologist has accurate information, answering these questions before your appointment can help:
- Do any of your blood relatives have AD, asthma, or hay fever?
- What are your characteristics?
- When did the symptoms start?
- Where do the rashes appear on the skin?
Providing this information to your dermatologist can be very helpful. AD flares and fades, so you may have fair skin when you see your dermatologist. Skin tests may be needed to diagnose AD along with information about your health and symptoms. Some people even need a skin biopsy.
Your dermatologist can take a skin biopsy quickly and easily during your appointment. To do this, your dermatologist will remove and exfoliate the skin in small amounts. When viewed under a microscope, it provides valuable information. A skin biopsy can help your dermatologist choose the best treatment.
Atopic dermatitis treatment
There is no known treatment for AD. Finding the right treatment to reduce itching and discomfort is important. Soothing the skin reduces stress and helps prevent excessive scratching that can lead to skin conditions. Treatment options vary from over-the-counter skincare, prescription medications, and lifestyle changes.
The best preventive measure is to hydrate the skin. Improves the performance of the skin barrier. Healthy skin becomes inflamed less often and provides a better barrier against allergens and irritants. Bathing and moisturizing every day is an easy way to hydrate your skin. It is important to apply moisturizer within minutes of bathing.