What is atopic dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It’s common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long-lasting and tends to flare periodically. It may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever. No cure has been found for atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is a long-term skin condition. It is more common in babies and children but also occurs in adults. A child with allergies or family members with allergies or atopic dermatitis has a higher chance of having atopic dermatitis. Itching, dryness, and redness are common symptoms.
The pathogenesis of Atopic dermatitis is not completely understood, however, the disorder appears to result from the complex interaction between defects in skin barrier function, immune dysregulation, and environmental and infectious agents.
Atopic dermatitis is common worldwide. People of all ages from newborns to adults 65 years of age and older live with this condition. Symptoms range from excessively dry, itchy skin to painful, itchy rashes that cause sleepless nights and interfere with everyday life.
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) symptoms may include:
- Dry, itchy skin
- Rashes or redness on the skin
- Bumps or blisters that ooze fluid when scratched
- Scaly or thickened skin
- Dark patches of skin (especially in people with dark skin)
These symptoms can vary in severity and may come and go over time.
Risk factors of atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) risk factors include:
- A family history of atopic dermatitis, asthma, or hay fever
- Personal history of asthma or hay fever
- Young age (atopic dermatitis is most common in infants and young children)
- A weakened skin barrier, which can allow moisture to escape and irritants to enter
- Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on the skin
- Exposure to irritants, such as harsh soaps or detergents, dust, or cigarette smoke
- Stress and anxiety
- Hot, humid weather
- Certain foods, such as dairy, soy, eggs, wheat, or peanuts (in some people)
These risk factors can increase a person’s likelihood of developing atopic dermatitis, but they do not guarantee that someone will develop the condition.
What’s the difference between eczema and Atopic dermatitis?
Eczema refers to a group of conditions that cause inflamed skin. There are many types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type.
Other types of eczema include contact dermatitis, nummular eczema, and dyshidrotic eczema. People often say eczema when referring to any one of these conditions.
While atopic dermatitis is only one type of eczema, it can develop on the skin in many ways.