Atopic Dermatitis: Causes, Symptoms, Factor and Treatment

Atopic Dermatitis is a chronic skin disease more commonly known as Eczema. Allergies such as hay fever and asthma are referred to as a group as atopic. An inherited tendency towards the development of allergies can cause atopic dermatitis. With this condition the skin is irritable, dry and itchy. Swelling, redness and inflammation are a result of scratching. Over the long term cracks, crusts and scales may appear. The skin condition is referred to as dermatis. Children from the infancy stage are most likely to get this condition while it is less common in adults. Some children will get it in early adulthood only and other may never grow out of the disease.

Causes of Atopic Dermatitis

It is unknown the exact cause of the skin condition. If there is a family history of hay fever, asthma, food allergies and eczema then research has shown a person is more likely to suffer from atopic dermatitis. Many skin allergies are termed Eczema.

Deficiencies in the immune system can also result in this condition. An increased risk of suffering from the condition is shown by research to occur in people with a low level of protein called cytokine which is essential to maintaining a proper functioning immune system. The immune system can become misguided when there is a deficiency in this protein. In the absence of a real infection it will create an inflammation.

Who Are Affected?

Atopic dermatitis is suffered by one in every ten adults. During infancy is the most likely time for it to develop. During the first year of life about sixty-five to seventy percent of people develop it and almost ninety percent will develop it before they reach school age. The condition is more common to those who live in dry places. Family history of this skin disorder means a baby has a higher risk to suffer from it rather than those who do not have a family history of the disorder.


From person to person the symptoms will differ but there are a few common signs. These include the following:

  • Skin that is dry and itchy.
  • Knees, inside the elbows, hands, feet, face and wrists have rashes.
  • Because of rubbing there is red scaly skin.
  • When scratched there are papules or small bumps that may open and get infected.
  • Constant scratching causes a leader type of skin that develops.
  • After exposure to hot water hives may appear.
  • The eyes will have an extra fold of skin that develops under them.
  • The area around the lips will have inflammation.
  • The palms will have extra skin creases.
  • Hay fever causes the eyes to become darker.
  • The thighs, upper arms and face will have small bumps.
  • Skin is inflamed easily and often loses moisture.

Factors That Increase Symptoms

Allergic reactions to certain foods, dust, pollen, wool and animal fur can cause skin outbreaks, hay fever and asthma.

Regular swimming and hot baths which cause a frequent wetting of skin.

Some soaps and detergents can cause issues so you should try to use ph-balanced soap with no perfume as much as possible.

The eyelids can be irritated by cigarette smoke.

Temperature environments can trigger it especially extremes in hot and cold. Sweating that irritates the skin is caused by high humidity and the skin is dried from low humidity.

More itching can be caused by anger, frustration or embarrassment.

When the skin becomes irritated then the inflammation producing cells become more active. Any of the above can cause a person to suffer from atopic dermatitis when they come it contact with it. Allergic reactions to food are most common in children. Some of the most common food allergy triggers include eggs, milk, wheat, soy, fish and peanuts.

Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis has a two-fold treatment method. To reduce the symptoms then routine preventions can help such as moisturizing the skin after a bath, avoiding food types that cause reactions, reduce dust and create a smoke free environment. Get rid of anything that leads to itching including clothes, detergents and plants. Use only lukewarm baths and you should keep your fingernails short. Instead of towel drying allow the skin to air dry.

Medication is the second part of treatment. To help reduce the skin inflammations there are a number of products available on the market today. To prevent further outbreaks and permanent damage due to wrong medication you should only take them under medical supervision. If someone suffers from atopic dermatitis they should avoid contact with person who have recently received a vaccination for small pox since this can cause a rash.

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