Atopic dermatitis manifests itself as irritated red areas of skin-
These areas are usually found in the folds of the skin and on the inner sides of the elbows, behind the knees and around the eyes.
In difficult cases, especially in children, the inflammation and irritation can also appear on the skin of the face, palms, scalp and back. In certain cases the irritation is so severe that it causes sleepless nights and difficulties in school and at work. Sometimes scratching the skin with unwashed hands causes topical bacterial infections which exacerbate the redness and pain. Since atopic dermatitis usually appears in families with a tendency to asthma or to allergic rhinitis, it is sometimes called “asthma of the skin”.
Atopic dermatitis first appears in infant-hood or childhood-
It can continue into adolescence or even adulthood. Its cause is not completely known, but it would seem to be linked to the fact that the skin of the affected person reacts more strongly to irritations. The irritation can be external, e.g. cold weather, hot weather, pollen, dust or certain foods, and it can be internal, e.g. nervous tension. There are dermatologists who believe that a small percentage (about 10%) of infants and children who suffer from atopic dermatitis are sensitive to cows’ milk, eggs or fish, which worsen the symptoms of the disease. On the other hand, as far as adults are concerned, no link has been found so far between foods and atopic dermatitis.
Basis for treatment is moisturizing the skin that may prevent most flare ups. On the red inflamed areas one may apply steroids creams or one of the new non steroidal anti inflammatory creams (Elidel or protopic). Internal medications such as antihistamines or Profiten may relieve the itch.Share on Facebook