Atopic dermatitis is also referred to as dermatitis and eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that occurs when a person has a reaction to something that affects the skin. During a dermatitis flare up, a rash will appear and can be accompanied by severe itching.
Atopic dermatitis can begin in childhood and last through adulthood, although for some it does not make an appearance until a person is much older. Atopic dermatitis usually shows up and then goes into remission for a period of time. This can make it hard to manage. There are many things that can cause atopic dermatitis.
Several things that can cause atopic dermatitis can include, allergies, seasonal allergies, dry skin and cold weather, soaps, detergents, lotions, jewelry, fruits and vegetables, cleaning products and many more. There are some people who have a reaction to certain fabrics as well, including wool or polyester.
There are many different forms of atopic dermatitis. They are all triggered by different things and can have varying symptoms as well. The most common form of dermatitis is contact eczema. This form of eczema is caused when an allergen comes into contact with the skin. The rash can be localized and will include a red, itching and burning rash. This is not to be confused with allergic contact dermatitis which is when the skin comes into contact with something that the body and immune system sees as foreign. Examples of this would be lotions, shampoos, detergents and poison ivy.
Seborrheic eczema is very common, especially among infants. This condition is often referred to as “cradle cap” when found on a baby. This form of dermatitis is a form of dandruff that is usually located on the scalp but can occur on other parts of the body. This dermatitis causes scaly, yellowish and sometimes oily patches on the skin. Nummular eczema is usually found on the arms, legs, buttocks and back. These patches are round, isolated areas of skin that are crusty, very itchy and scaly. Dyshidrotic eczema affects mostly the hand and sometimes the feet. The palms of hands and soles of the feet have clear, deep blisters that burn and itch.
As you can see there are many different types of atopic dermatitis. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms or forms of eczema you should contain your doctor for a diagnosis. Treating the symptoms of dermatitis depends on the form of dermatitis you are suffering from. If one is suffering from one of the allergic forms of atopic dermatitis then determining the allergen is extremely important. The best way to prevent a flare up is to eliminate all allergens from coming in contact with the skin. For those who suffer from atopic dermatitis caused by dry air or cold climates, the use of moisturizers and non-drying soaps are extremely beneficial. Those with dandruff may need special dandruff medicated shampoos or creams. If you suffer from a dermatitis that is extremely itchy or painful, the use of antihistamines or steroid medications may be necessary.
If you are suffering from eczema but are not sure what form of dermatitis it is or what is causing the rash then your doctor will be able to help you determine what is going on. A dermatologist will be better qualified to evaluate the condition and diagnose the problem. Often allergen tests can help one determine what is causing the dermatitis flare ups. Although dealing with atopic eczema can be frustrating and challenging, know that there is hope for getting your symptoms under control. With proper medical supervision and the right strategies atopic dermatitis can be managed and often prevented in the future.
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