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Atopic Dermatitis: Itchy, Irritated Skin

Atopic Dermatitis: Itchy, Irritated Skin
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Atopic Dermatitis

itchy skin

Atopic dermatitis is also called atopic eczema and it refers to an inflammation of the skin that causes itchy, irritated lesions. These lesions are most often found on the face, arms, legs, and neck. It typically occurs during childhood and can be an isolated case or a chronic condition. Atopic dermatitis is an incredibly common condition, with more than 20% of the worldwide population being afflicted by it at some point.

What Causes Atopic Dermatitis?

The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, but the following factors can increase the chances of developing it:

  • Genetics
  • “Hygiene Hypothesis”
  • Environmental factors
    • High levels of calcium carbonate in water
    • Dust mites
    • Cold weather
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Dietary allergens
    • Gluten sensitivity
    • Dairy allergy
  • Staphylococcus aureus bacteria
  • Chemical irritants
    • Soap
    • Cosmetics
    • Perfume

Types of Atopic Dermatitis

There is only one known type of atopic dermatitis.

Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms

  • Dry skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Dark skin around the eyes
  • Patches of itchy skin
  • Clear discharge from the affected area
  • Skin creasing on the palm of the hand
  • Splotchy, raised lesions
  • Red, irritated skin

irritated skin

Diagnosing Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis can be diagnosed by your primary care physician. They will likely refer you to a dermatologist to confirm the condition and provide further treatment.

Treating Atopic Dermatitis

There is no cure for atopic dermatitis and treatment usually depends on the underlying cause. Avoiding triggers and factors that can bring the condition on can help reduce flare-ups. Dermatologists recommend that people with atopic eczema use products designated for sensitive skin, such as hypoallergenic moisturizers. Severe and chronic conditions may require topical steroids or antibiotic ointments to reduce the inflammation.

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