Atopic Dermatitis is a very common cause of rash, especially among babies and young children. It is also called Ezcema, and causes a skin rash that is characterizied by redness and severe ithcing. It is a long term skin condition with symptoms that tend to come and go. Although no cure exists, eczema symptoms can be reduced through an ongoing treatment regimen.
Atopic Dermatitis Causes
Eczema tends to be hereditary and typically occurs in conjunction with allergies, including asthma and hay fever. While it is commonly seen in infants, most children have less eczema symptoms after age two. If eczema symptoms continue throughout adolescence and adulthood, the characteristics and severity of symptoms may fluctuate.
Controlling stress and anxiety may help improve eczema symptoms, however psychological factors are merely triggers and do not cause eczema. Changes in temperature, as well as exposure to water and environmental irritants and detergents, may trigger eczema symptoms as well.
Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms
Most patients with eczema experience combinations of the following symptoms, often depending on the severity of their case:
Rough, scaly skin
Thick, leathery skin
Papules or blisters
Eczema itching can be so intense that frequent scratching may lead to skin bleeding, oozing or crusting and sometimes even infection. In such cases, it is strongly recommended that eczema sufferers seek treatment.
Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl, are used to treat severe allergic itching associated with eczema, and oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone, may be prescribed to treat acute eczema outbreaks.
Topical corticosteroids may be used to relieve skin inflammation and itching in the short term, however for long-term topical inflammation and itch relief, non-steroid immunosuppressant creams like Elidel or Protopic may be recommended.
Minimizing exposure to soaps and detergents, using gentle, soothing skin care products and keeping skin moisturized may also be an important part of treating your eczema.
Many patients with a diagnosis of Atopic Dermatitis are allergic to chemicals such as fragrances, preservatives, and dyes. We offer skin allergy testing (Patch testing) to determine if an allergy is the cause of your symptoms. Note that this is a different type of testing from scratch testing done by an allergist (which checks for respiratory allergies).
Would you like to learn more about Atopic Dermatitis Treatment? Call us to schedule a consultation at Clovis Dermatology.