Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a chronic disorder that can have a diverse clinical course. It is a common and often persistent skin disease that affects a significant proportion of the world’s population. It is a special type of anaphylaxis associated with asthma, inhalant allergy (hay fever) and chronic dermatitis.

It is among the most common types of skin conditions characterized by redness and itching of the skin. It can lead to inflammation that can occur all over the body, arms, back of the neck, and legs.

eczemaItching and inflammation are caused by atopic dermatitis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions About Atopic Dermatitis

1. What are some factors that can cause exudative dermatitis?

Seasonal allergies, exposure to soaps and strong detergents, and cold weather can be some of the potential factors. It can also happen due to pollution and lack of moisture in the air. It begins with itching and redness, then progresses to a rash that may bleed and secrete fluid when scratched. The itching can be so severe that it can affect daily functions such as sleep and lack of concentration. Atopic Dermatitis is one of the most stressful skin diseases in the world, and about 10-15 percent of the Indian population suffers from some form of it.

2. When does Atopic Dermatitis occur?

Atopic dermatitis can occur at any age. It most often affects infants and young children. Occasionally, it may persist into adulthood or rarely appear at that time. Some patients tend to have a prolonged course with difficulties. In most cases, there are periods when the disease is worse, called exacerbations or flares, which are followed by periods when the skin improves or goes away completely, called periods of remission. Many children with atopic dermatitis go into permanent remission of the disease as they get older, even though their skin may remain dry and easily irritated.

This condition manifests itself differently in different individuals. For some patients, the disease is intermittent or seasonal, while others can have a more persistent chronic course. In half of cases, the disease is present along with asthma and hay fever. Therefore, individuals with a family history of these diseases are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. In most cases, Alzheimer’s disease is genetic and is not contagious.

Asthma and atopic dermatitisThere is a relationship between asthma and atopic dermatitis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Is it more common among the elderly?

Multiple changes in elderly people with weakened immune systems can lead to a reduced ability to defend against pathogens, making the elderly more susceptible to severe and chronic infections. Older adults with Alzheimer’s tend to be more sensitive to pollen and dust mites, and are often more sensitive to combinations of perfumes and metals, such as nickel and cobalt. The skin barrier diminishes with age, which can worsen Alzheimer’s disease because aging skin has a harder time repairing itself compared to younger skin.

4. What about the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis?

However, there is currently no cure for it, but there are a few treatment options that can help a person manage the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Medicated creams or oral medications to moisturize the skin can help reduce itching and reduce inflammation. Wet wrapping therapy can help improve symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis by increasing the moisture of a person’s skin. People with a severe case of this condition may also benefit from ultraviolet light therapy. It has been found that 70 percent of people with this condition see an improvement in their symptoms after undergoing phototherapy. UV rays help reduce itching and inflammation, and encourage the body to produce vitamin D. It may also help the skin fight bacteria to prevent infection.

Also read: Eczema could be linked to poorly regulated sex hormones. Are you eager to learn more?

Coconut OilUse coconut oil to relieve itching. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Certain general procedures can also help relieve symptoms of atopic dermatitis such as the use of natural moisturizers, for example coconut oil and sunflower oil, which help to lock in moisture and relieve itching. Bathing daily is essential to treat Atopic Dermatitis because it helps keep the skin moisturized and prevents infection. One can adopt different skin care methods to help reduce the symptoms of the condition. Avoid wool, which can irritate the skin, avoid strong soaps and detergents, and products with scents, dyes, or perfumes, and avoid rubbing dry skin for a long time.

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