Curious about atopic dermatitis? Here’s what you need to know
Atomic dermatitis is a chronic condition that can make your skin red and itchy. Though this condition is more common in children, it can occur in people of all age groups. Atomic dermatitis can remain dormant and flare up periodically, and it can be accompanied by bouts of asthma and fever. People diagnosed with this condition are prescribed dermatitis medication that has to be taken especially during periods of a flare-up.
What are the symptoms and causes of atopic dermatitis?
The symptoms of atopic dermatitis can vary for different people. A look at dermatitis pictures will show the following common symptoms:
- Dry, itchy skin with itching particularly severe at night.
- Red to brownish patches on the skin, mostly on hands, feet, ankles, wrists, eyelids, neck and upper chest. In infants, these patches appear on the face and scalp.
- The skin patches may be covered with small, raised bumps.
- The skin over these patches may be sensitive and swollen from scratching.
It is not entirely known as to what causes atopic dermatitis but finding the right dermatitis medication depends a lot on the extent of the condition. It is believed that eczema can be caused due to gene variation. This can affect the skin’s ability to create a protective barrier against the environmental irritants and allergens.
What can be the complications associated with atopic dermatitis?
The complications of this condition, if not treated properly, can lead to one or more of the following conditions:
- Asthma and hay fever: In most children, eczema can lead to asthma or hay fever. More than 50% of young children with atopic dermatitis develop either asthma or hay fever by the age of 13.
- Skin infections: Chronic atopic dermatitis can cause constant and persistent scratching, which can result in open sores and cracks. This leads to an increased risk of bacterial and viral infections such as herpes simplex virus.
While there is no cure for atopic dermatitis, there are dermatitis medications to reduce the pain and itchiness associated with this condition during flare-ups. It is also helpful to avoid using harsh soaps and keep the skin moisturized with the use of medicated ointments.