Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema

Skin | Dermatology | Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema (Disease)


Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema. Other names like prurigo Besnier, neurodermitis, endogenous eczema, flexural eczema, infantile eczema, and prurigo diathésique are also known for this condition. It is characterized by inflammation, chronically relapsing, non-contagious and pruritic skin disorder.

Although symptoms may vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are dry, itchy, red skin. Itch is the grand hallmark of the disease. Less commonly there may be cracks behind the ears, and various other rashes on any part of the body. Atopic dermatitis often occurs together with other atopic diseases like hay fever, asthma and allergic conjunctivitis.

Causes and Risk factors

The cause of atopic dermatitis is not known, but the disease seems to result from a combination of genetic, hereditary and environmental factors. Although it is an inherited disease, eczema is primarily aggravated by contact with or intake of allergens. It can also be influenced by other factors that affect the immune system such as stress or fatigue. Common food allergen causing eczematous dermatitis include peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, and egg. A subset of people afflicted with atopic dermatitis are affected by exogenous sources of histamine.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment cannot cure atopic dermatitis, but it can control it. A treatment plan often includes medicine, skin care, and lifestyle changes. Skin care and lifestyle changes can help prevent flare-ups. Many patients receive tips for coping. ...

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